Cold, Cold Sea by Linda Huber Sunday, Nov 23 2014 

Please welcome guest Linda Huber, a Scot who lives in Switzerland (big sigh here) who will describe the impetus for her book THE COLD COLD SEA: TCCS3

Tale of Two Families

Family is such a big part of everyone’s life. My own family spans two countries now; Scotland, where I grew up, and Switzerland, where I’ve lived for the past twenty-odd years.

Living as I do between two cultures has certainly enriched my writing, but it was a family event that inspired my second book, The Cold Cold Sea, which tells how a (fictional) family cope after the death of a child. My Scottish roots have always been important to me. In the late 90s I began to research my family tree, and found something that shook me to the core. These were the pre-Internet days and I had sent charts of various family groups to all the relations I could find, asking them to fill my gaps with as much detail as they could.

One distant cousin returned hers having added a child to an aunt’s family – a girl who died in the 1940s, aged just eleven. Beside the child’s dates she had written two words – Agnes drowned. I was horrified to think that this little girl had lived her short life in a branch of my own family – and I had never heard of her. We discovered later that she had drowned in an indoor swimming pool in Glasgow.

I began to wonder – how do parents cope with such a tragedy in their lives? What do they do to get over their loss? How is the relationship affected? And the siblings of the dead child?

Then I thought – what if they don’t cope, these bereaved parents? What if this new, terrible reality in their lives is so unbearable that they have to change it? And of course, you can’t change reality. Or can you? And that was the start of The Cold Cold Sea.

Website: http://www.lindahuber.net Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Linda- Huber/e/B00CN7BB0Q/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1414345217&sr=1-1
LindaHuber
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where she trained as a physiotherapist. She spent the next ten years working with neurological patients and handicapped children, firstly in Glasgow and then in Switzerland. During this time she learned that different people have different ways of dealing with stressful events in their lives, and this knowledge still helps her today in her writing.

Linda now lives in Arbon, Switzerland, where she works as a language teacher at a school in a medieval castle on the banks of Lake Constance. The Paradise Trees is her debut novel and was published by Legend Press in 2013. Her second Legend Press book, The Cold Cold Sea, was published in August 2014. She has also had over 50 short stories and articles published in women’s magazines.
coldColdSea_cover_130x198_13jun14-page-001 new

D. E. Ireland: Wouldn’t It Be Deadly? Thursday, Nov 20 2014 

wouldntdeadly
D. E. Ireland is the pen name of two Michigan authors and friends who’ve hit upon a wonderful device: continuing the story of Eliza Doolitte and Henry Higgins in their first mystery, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly?

With all the original players here, including Colonel Pickering, Freddie Eynsford-Hill, and even Mrs. Pearce, the action opens just after Eliza’s appearance at the Embassy Ball which cemented her transformation from a Covent Garden flower girl to a duchess.

Eliza is living with Higgins’ mother, dating Freddie, and still nursing her annoyances against Higgins, while working as the assistant to his rival elocution expert, Emil Nepommuck. When her boss makes the unfortunate mistake of taking public credit for Eliza’s transformation, Higgins’ publishes a damning article that exposes Nepommuck as the fraud he is–until he’s murdered, and the most obvious suspect is, of course, Henry Higgins.

The only way to clear Henry is for Eliza to help him sleuth the many enemies Nepommuck has gathered, and what a crew it turns out to be: elderly dowagers, Americans, actresses–all have been tutored by the charlatan to lose their accents and upgrade their vowels and consonants. There are secrets being kept, and Higgins has his own surprising one to hide as the investigation heats up and it soon becomes clear that he is on the verge of being arrested.

The author’s are to be credited for maintaining the tone and the personality of all of the players, down to using dialogue you can believe these characters would say. There is humor and exasperation, and the final scene rivals anything yet to be seen on Drury Lane. All of the period details are spot on. A wonderful debut of pure brain candy and one can only feel G. B. Shaw would be best pleased.

Maia Chance: Snow White Red-Handed Sunday, Nov 16 2014 

Please welcome author Maia Chance. To be entered to win a copy of SNOW WHITE RED-HANDED, leave a comment~
snow white red handed

Bit Part Firecrackers

A reader recently asked me, “How do you create your secondary characters?”

This isn’t talked about much—we writers adore rhapsodizing about our fierce/vulnerable/dauntless/altogether fascinating sleuths and sidekicks instead. But cozy mysteries are character-driven stories, and that refers to all of the characters.

Snow White Red-Handed, my newly-released historical cozy mystery, trots out an eclectic cast of secondary characters, from castle servants and a casino owner to a mysterious Russian princess and an ungainly stepsister. And so—in answer to my Gentle Reader’s question—here is my checklist for secondary characters.

1. They are Fleshed Out.

This applies even to secondary characters who have only one speaking line. Why? Here’s something special about a whodunnit-style mystery: since many of the secondary characters are murder suspects, that means that one of them is really a primary character: the villain. Trippy, right? So, every one of the suspects must have enough punch and intrigue not to seem like a random killer when the truth comes out at the end. My rule of thumb is that everyone has a secret even if it’s not THE secret.

2. They Provide Variety.

Secondary characters can create dimension not provided by the main characters. In Snow White Red-Handed, for instance, I explore class and nationality not only through my sleuth Ophelia Flax (American variety hall actress) and her romantic interest (privileged British professor); I also have a family of American upstarts with a fortune made in the railroad and down-at-heel German servants. And I was able to explore varied settings through secondary characters, too. Because of a couple of sinister guards, the protagonists are lured into a horseback chase through the forest, while my bombastic lady naturalist leads the sleuths to a luxurious health sanatorium. What is more, each of these characters is distinctive in appearance, dress, and mode of speech. Mr. Smith, the American millionaire’s private secretary, speaks like this:

“Like California? Haw! The Black Forest is about as much like California as one of them Arabian racehorses is like a Mexico donkey. Oh, that’s a hoot! No, one thing’s certain, and it’s that I’ve got to get myself back to some real wilderness. That durned police-man, Schubert, has forbidden us all to leave until he gets to the bottom of the murders, but I figure that’ll take about as much time as for him to learn to be a ballerina.”

3. They Provide Absurd (Comic?) Relief.

I admit, Snow White Red-Handed isn’t exactly a serious story. Early readers have called it “fun,” and I can more than live with that. Because even though I will never, alas, be as witty as P. G. Wodehouse (secret fantasy of mine), I do want my books to be at least mildly amusing. I find that my secondary characters, behind my back, tiptoe again and again over the threshold into Absurd Territory. Here is one of the descriptions of the lady naturalist and her elderly, consumptive employer, two characters I immensely enjoyed writing:

“Miss Gertie posed like one of those Viking ladies at the opera, all blond braids and magnificent bosom, in an arched doorway at the far end of the dining room. All that was missing was one of those helmets with horns. She gripped the handles of a wicker wheelchair, which was occupied by what appeared to be a heap of black wool with a white wig.”

4. They Provide Historical Dimension.

Here’s something people have been asking a lot about: how I came up with the attitudes of my German fairy tale scholar, Professor Winkler. His snotty belief that fairy tales are merely the product of debased “peasant” minds is derived from an actual historical essay written by James Russell Lowell (a Harvard professor) in 1870. There was no way I could’ve made it up; Lowell’s assertions have that special outlandish-yet-real flavor. (This is why I compulsively read Wikipedia articles: truth is way, way weirder than fiction.)

5. They Enhance Themes and Motifs.

In Snow White Red-Handed, secondary characters embody or enact themes and motifs from the fairy tale “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” For instance, from the fairy tale I pulled the theme of beauty tied to a mother-daughter relationship. Next, I explored that theme through the avenue of the secondary character Prudence Bright, whose actress-and-courtesan mom taught her to value her looks and feminine wiles above all else. As another example, “Snow White” has that little detail about the Wicked Queen wanting to eat Snow White’s liver (or lungs, or heart, depending on the version), so in Snow White Red-Handed I HAD to go there:

“Luncheon, by the by,” Winkler said to Mr. Coop, “was superb. The sautéed liver! Your cook is a sorceress. Did you bring her from America?”

Truthfully, there are lots of writing days when my secondary characters are vastly more amusing to play with than my main characters. On those days I feel like I should, like a theater manager, pull the exuberant bit part actor offstage with a cane. Yet sometimes I indulge, and let them bask in the limelight a moment or two longer.

BIO: FEM_0463 web

Maia Chance writes historical mystery novels that are rife with absurd predicaments and romantic adventure. She is the author of the Fairy Tale Fatal and The Discreet Retrieval Agency series, and her first mystery, Snow White Red-Handed, is available now from Berkley Prime Crime.

Maia is a candidate for a Ph.D. in English at the University of Washington. This means that the exploits of Fairy Tale Fatal’s heroine, variety hall actress Ophelia Flax, were dreamt up while Maia was purportedly researching 19th-century American literature and fairy tale criticism. The Discreet Retrieval Agency series was born of Maia’s fascination with vintage shoes, automobiles, and cocktails combined with an adoration of P. G. Wodehouse and chocolate.

Upcoming titles include Come Hell or Highball (St. Martin’s Press, 2015) and Cinderella Six Feet Under (Berkley Prime Crime, 2015). Maia lives in Seattle, where she shakes a killer martini, grows a mean radish, and bakes mocha bundts to die for.

LINKS:

WEBSITE: maiachance.com
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/MaiaChance
TWITTER: twitter.com/maiachance
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8127322.Maia_Chance

Tony Parsons: The Murder Man Wednesday, Nov 12 2014 

murderman Journalist and internationally-known author Tony Parsons turns to crime, introducing London police detective max Wolfe in The Murder Man.

The book opens with a strong introduction: “I was waiting for a man who was planning to die.” It then recounts Max’s conviction and actions that save the day and become the catalyst for his transfer to the Homicide and Serious Crime Command to work under DCI Victor Mallory.

Despite his love for dogs and coffee, coupled with insistent insomnia, this single parent is tenacious as he tackles the trail of serial killer who cuts throats and gets away without leaving evidence behind. The first victim, investment banker Hugo Buck, has a lovely wife he abuses and a history that is sparked by a photograph he keeps on his desk: what looks like seven young soldiers in the 80’s.

The photograph is a key clue for Max as the killings continue and it becomes obvious that the young men in that photograph are targets. And it’s up to Max to find the perpetrator before they’re all murdered.

With his young daughter, Scout, a reasonable housekeeper in the form of Mrs. Murphy, and that adorable King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Stan, Max struggles to keep up with this canny killer. But don’t let these domestic details fool you into thinking this is anything resembling a romantic read. There is pathos in Max’s home situation as he struggles to adjust to raising his daughter alone and is determined to do right by her.

There are also some lovely lines in here that add texture to Max: “I tried to look beyond the blood and the horror. I tried to look at what had once been a man.”

This is an auspicious opener for what promises to be one heck of series and Auntie M is looking forward to the next installment. Highly recommended.

Sisters in Crime: Four Mysteries Sunday, Nov 9 2014 

As a member of Sisters in Crime, Auntie M has found a community that sustains her when facing that blank white page that proscribes the daily writing life. A huge part of that organization is the support the members give each other on so many facets of writing, from craft to legal issues, from deadly poisons to process to marketing and blog tours.

So today she’s highlighting four Sisters (and a Mister!) who have books for your reading pleasure.

truthbetold Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Jane Ryland series echoes the author’s own history as an investigative reporter. In Truth Be Told, the award-winning author brings her insider’s knowledge to a different kind of case: middle-class families caught in the housing foreclosure debacle who are evicted from their homes.

At the same time, her relationship with Boston police detective Jake Brogan has hit a snag. The long-awaited vacation they’d planned has to be cancelled when someone suddenly confesses to the twenty-year old murder called the Lilac Sunday Killing, the unsolved case that haunted Jake’s grandfather. With evidence mounting that the confession might be phony, Jake delves into his grandfather’s basement files on the original case.

With the strain of keeping their personal lives separate from their jobs, and that line crossing more than either of them expect, things heat up when murders start to occur in the supposedly empty homes of evicted families. Enter the daughter of a bank president, a young woman with her own special accounting system, and the cases take off, each from their own perspective.

Ryan does a nice job of bringing these two story lines together while Jane and Jake struggle to hold onto their relationship in the midst of misunderstandings and the differences of their jobs as they each try to figure out who’s behind the murders, and why someone would confess to a murder they didn’t commit.

demon-3
G. M. Malliet’s Max Tudor series takes readers to the charming English village of Nether Monkslip, where the former MI5 agent has carved out a new life for himself. In A Demon Summer, the heat isn’t the only thing that has Max sweating: he’s soon to be a parent with his beloved Awena, and has yet to tell his Bishop of that development.

This is kind of mystery that isn’t built on action but on thoughtful investigation, as Max is sent by the Bishop to Monkbury Abbey after it seems their fruitcake was the vehicle used to try to poison the 15th Earl of Lislelivet. Tasked with discreet inquiries just at the time he’d rather be home and planning his marriage, Max nevertheless takes the job seriously and sets off to the remote abbey, home to nuns who are part of the order of the Handmaids of St. Lucy.

Amidst rumors of buried treasure regaling that of the Holy Grail, Max finds the cloistered order living their lives plainly, bound by rules and bells calling them to prayer. Along with the Lord back for a second visit are a philanthropic American family, an art gallery owner and a photographer, all sharing the guesthouse when Max arrives to begin his investigation.

There will be tales of funds going missing or misappropriated, of poison berries, or family tragedies–and then the Lord’s body is found down the well and Max must kick his investigation into overdrive. A device Malliet uses is chapter epigrams from The Rule of the Order of the Handmaids of St. Lucy. Great fun and with a Poirot-like ending where the little grey cells of Father Max have figured out what’s really happening behind the abbey’s walls.

murderhoneychurch Across the pond, Hannah Dennison, author of the Vicky Hill mysteries, debuts a new series with Murder at Honeychurch Hall.

The Devon setting, home to Agatha Christie’s Greenway and where she grew up, seems like a character in this humorous opener featuring Katherine Stanford, known to as Kat, a television celebrity leaving that life behind, who thinks she’s getting ready to launch the antique business she’s always wanted to run. Her partner and newly-widowed mother, Iris, has a huge surprise that throws a wrench in Kat’s plans: instead of going into business in London with Kat, Iris has bought a seriously dilapidated carriage house on the grounds of Honeychurch Hall, hundreds of miles from London.

With her partner David away for the weekend, Kat drives to Devon to see what kind of fix Iris has gotten herself into after breaking her hand, and discovers a host of characters that pale beside the ones Iris has been writing in her racy romances.

This is a modern-day Upstairs, Downstairs in some respects, with a lot of humor thrown into the mix as Kat at arrives at the Honeychurch Hall Estate on the River Dart and becomes involved in a family struggle to keep the estate intact as opposed to selling to developers. Iris’ part in all of this conflict is a puzzle to Kat, and its revelation will let Kat realize she doesn’t really know Iris at all.

The changes extend to Kat, with the vision she had for life after her television show needing to be rewritten. She begins to reconsider her fiancé, still married to Kat’s nemesis, and dragging his feet on the divorce. Devon proves to be anything but the boring out-of-the-way backwater Kat was expecting. There will be ghosts, an older countess and a young girl, the early death of the Lord’s first wife, as well as a Detective Inspector named Shawn who gets thrown into the mix when the manny goes missing– a DI whose phone ring tone is a steam engine. Things heat up with a murder as Iris’ past comes into play, and Kat decides she needs to rethink her future plans. This is the set up for a continued series in a delightful setting.
unwillingaccomplice
The mother/son writing team of Charles Todd have written their sixth Bess Crawford mystery that marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. An Unwilling Accomplice finds the nurse and sleuth home on leave and assigned to accompany a wounded solder to Buckingham Palace for the King’s award.

Bess is smarting from the apparent loss of a patient, facing an inquiry by the army and her nursing service. But the fact that the hero was wheelchair-bound and shouldn’t have been able to leave his hotel on his own hasn’t seemed to clear her. She was assigned to care for the ailing Sergeant Wilkins when his orderly heads back to the battle lines. What she doesn’t expect is for her patient to go missing when she leaves him at his hotel room for the night. With the mores of the era, it isn’t proper for a woman, even a nurse, to stay in the man’s room overnight. But how and when did Wilkins go missing?

With Bess’ professional credentials being called into question, she faces scrutiny from her boss as well as having to answer to the local police as to why she simply let a man go missing.

Then her lost hero is found: Wilkins has been sighted in Shropshire, with a witness claiming he’s committed murder. Bess swings into action to find Wilkins and tries to get to the bottom of his actions. Constricted by the mores of women traveling alone and hampering her investigation, she enlists family friend Simon Brandon to help solve the mysterious disappearance, restore her reputation, and clear her name. It’s the only way to save her own reputation–before a possible deserter kills again.

The Todd’s bestselling series featuring Ian Rutledge also carries their accurate historical illustration of the era. This latest entry continues that atmospheric and realistic portrayal of this time period with vivid details and a complete grasp of setting.

John Bainbridge: The Shadow of William Quest Sunday, Nov 2 2014 

Please welcome UK author John Bainbridge:

The-Shadow-Of-William-Quest

Thank you for the kind invitation to talk about my novels. I have been writing for most of my life, though usually journalism and non-fiction. After a number of abortive attempts at novel writing, I decided to sit down and write the kind of historical crime thriller I actually wanted to read, but which wasn’t out there to buy.

I read for a degree in literature and Victorian history, and specialised in the Victorian Underworld. About a year ago I had this image in my mind of a Victorian gentlemen walking down an alley carrying a swordstick – and very little more. I knew he was there to right wrongs, but that was about it.

So I sat down and started writing. It was really quite spooky! One scene after another unrolled on the screen, characters seemed to leap out – almost as though it all had a life of its own. Before I knew it William Quest, his friends and enemies, were there before me. It was like watching a film. In all my writing life, I’ve never had anything flow quite so easily.

The result was The Shadow of William Quest. I wanted a hero with a dark edge and Quest is – to say the least – morally ambivalent. A man who takes the law into his own hands as he fights against the injustices of Victorian society. I wanted to try and portray Victorian life as it really was, from the rookeries of London to the harshness of rural counties, but try and put forward some uplifting message. After all, we all benefit from the great social reforms put forward by campaigning individuals in that era.

John-Bainbridge-Outdoors-Jo
I’m now writing a second William Quest novel, which will be out for next summer. I’ve also finished a novel set in England during the 1930s, (no final title yet) which will be out in December. Apart from Quest I also collaborate with my wife Anne on Victorian Cozy crime novels, The Inspector Abbs mysteries. Two out so far, A Seaside Mourning and A Christmas Malice.

Fortunately, I have a lot of ideas and intend to write several novels featuring William Quest. We have a blog at http://www.gaslightcrime.wordpress.com which keeps our readers up to date with our latest work.

Jane Haddam: Fighting Chance Sunday, Oct 26 2014 

Auntie M’s News for Readers:

Once Upon a Lie by Maggie Barbieri AND Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming both now in paperback.
Two different and compelling reads previously reviewed here. If you missed them on first release, now’s time time to pick these up.

ALSO: Two great mysteries from Endeavour Press are FREE on Amazon Kindle’s store from 10/27-10/31. Don’t miss your chance to read these good reads for free:

Death on a Sunday Morning by J F Straker Death Sunday AM and

A Knife for Harry Dodd by George Bellairs Knife Harry

Now on to today’s review:

Fightin Chance
When you pick up what is the 29th book in a series, you know you are in the hands of a master. Jane Haddam’s Gregor Demarkian series has always given readers a tremendous sense of his Armenian community with a mystery to match. Haddam has been successful by moving Demarkian around on occasion, yet in this outing she keeps him close to home in Fighting Chance , and it’s one of her best.

Demarkian’s Armenian neighborhood in Philadelphia resounds with local foods and customs and superstitions. One institution is the parish priest and Demarkian’s best friend, Father Tibor Kasparian. Demarkian has always thought Tibor to be the most gentle soul he’s ever met.

Judge Martha Handling is a different kind of person. Known for her strict and overzealous sentences for youthful offenders, its rumored she is under investigation for being paid for her sentencing practices. She’s also highly suspicious of government interference and surveillance, and starts her daily routine at the courthouse by spray painting any camera lens she can find.

Tibor is at the courthouse to vouch for a young offender due to be sentenced that day. It’s a surreal shock when Tibor is arrested for murdering Judge Handling and refuses to talk to the detectives of to hire a lawyer. Demarkian swings into action, determined to uncover who really murdered the judge in her chambers. Tibor has been found with her bloody gavel in his hands, and a video soon surfaces showing him raising and lowering the blood-soaked instrument.

Demarkian will have lots of help in his investigation: from his wife, Bennis; from his neighbors on Cavanaugh Street; and from the Mayor himself. In a horrific ending, Demarkian will uncover the truth of the matter, but at tremendous cost to himself.

Arnaldur Indridason: Strange Shores Wednesday, Oct 22 2014 

Strange Shores
Multi-award winning Nordic author sets his Inspector Erlendur series in Iceland, where the detective has had to tackle the ghosts of many other criminals’ lives. In Strange Shores he brings Erlendur to his childhood home to face the ghosts of his own past.

Erlendur’s entire life has been affected by the loss of his only sibling, a younger brother. Beggi’s disappearance in a sudden blizzard whilst the boys were on the moors with their father has left a hole in his heart. No trace of the boy was ever found, and he realizes he must discover what really happened to his brother.

The frozen fjords of Iceland, miles away from Reykjavik, present him with a distinct challenge as he camps out in the remains of his old home. The story of a woman who disappeared years before is brother has caught his interest, and he follows the scent of the two lost people, looking for clues to both of their endings.

It will be a long, plodding time, visiting people who are old and have tainted memories and secrets to hide. But Erlandur will persevere until he finds the answers to the questions he seeks. The ending will have readers riveted as Erlandur chases down a decadeds-old case.

These are moody, brooding novels that echo the chilly landscape, with subtle clues and a bone-chilling climax.

Tana French: The Secret Place Sunday, Oct 19 2014 

The Secret Place
Auntie M is a huge fan of Tana French’s books, so she was excited to read her newest, The Secret Place. And she’s happy to report it’s another incredible winner. This writer just keeps getting better and better, with complex and compelling plots, believable characters, and that gritty realism that has been her forte` all along.

One of the devices French uses is to bring a previously seen character into the new action, and she does just that in using Det. Frank Mackey (Faithful Place) and his daughter Holly as characters when Det. Stephen Moran, working Cold Cases, gets his chance at a murder case, and what a case it turns out to be.

Moran has been wanting to be part of Dublin’s Murder Squad and his chance appears in the form of Holly Mackey, who shows up at his precinct bearing a clue to the murder the previous year of a male student from the neighboring school of St. Kilda’s, where Holly boards.

The Secret Place is a board at St. Kilda’s where girls can leave notes, postcards and other messages of their secrets, a ventilation board if you will, and is usually a place of gossip and innuendo. This message is designed to bring back the stalled investigation, which has frustrated Detective Antoinette Conway, she of the sharp chin, slick clothes and demeanor to match.

Conway grudgingly allows Moran to accompany her to St. Kilda’s to interview the students. It quickly becomes whittled down to two sets of four friends, one including Holly Mackey. And here Moran gets his chance to shine. Conway interviewed all of these girls during the initial investigation. She allows Moran to play questioner and he lets his chameleon personality loose on each girl, divining which approach will lead to the most usable information.

The tension rises as the two detectives, not friends by any means, testing each other as they go along, throw out different theories and dig deeper and deeper into the lives of eight teenage girls. Who has the most to lose? Who would have the courage to whack a lone male teen over the head and leave him for dead? The dialogue is pure teen and yet they girls remain distinct and different. The two sets of four have completely different bonds, too, which in the end will lead to tragedy.

It is to French’s credit that we hardly realize all of these scenes take place over one tense day. She keeps the reader riveted to the page as the girls secrets are torn loose, with an ending so unexpected you will be as surprised as the girls are to find the real murderer. Just how far will someone go in the name of friendship an loyalty? Highly recommended.

Keigo Hiashino: Malice Wednesday, Oct 15 2014 

Keigo Higashino is Japan’s most widely read author and with good reason. His books are internationally translated, and include The Devotion of Suspect X, wihc was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and for the Barry Award.
Malice

He’s new to Auntie M, but this won’t be the last of his books that she reads. Hs newest, Malice, features Detective Kyochiro Kaga, a mentally adept man who’s ratiocination rivals that of Sherlock Holmes in modern Japan.

What appears to be a classic locked room mystery turns out to be so much more when a bestselling novelist is found murdered in his home the night before a planned move with his second wife to Vancouver. His strangled body is found in his locked office within his locked house by his wife and his best friend, whom both have solid alibis.

When Det. Kaga arrives at the crime scene, he recognizes the best friend of novelist Kunihiko Hidaka as a former colleagues at the same public school from earlier days when they were both teachers. Kaga has gone on to the police force; Osamu Nonoguchi has left teaching to become a writer, mostly of children’s books. He has not achieved the same high level of success as his friend, the dead Hidaka, but it was the murdered man who introduced Nonoguchi to his own editor and allowed for the transition.

Told in alternating tales of Det. Kaga and the friend, Nonoguchi, the reader is thrust into a creative mind game of cat and mouse. Is Nonoguchi really the good friend to Hidaka that he claims or an unreliable narrator? And when the truth finally comes out, is there still more to be uncovered?

Just when the reader thinks the novel is over, Higashino throws another curve and Kaga must take off yet again. It’s this increasing spiral that will keep readers riveted to the page as Kaga matches wits with an uncanny killer. Fans of a true puzzle mystery will be delighted.

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,591 other followers