I  read Meredith Cole’s Posed for Murder out of sheer curiosity.  She was the winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition sponsored through St. Martin’s Press-Minotaur Books.  I’d entered one of my own and it didn’t make the cut, so I wanted to see what did.

At first the premise was kind of creepy: a young NY photographer has mounted her first big gallery show, based on unsolved murders.  She’s used friends to recreate the settings and toned them out to black and white images.  Her aim is to draw attention to the nameless victims.

Then I remembered the recent MFA graduation I’d attended of one of my Screw Iowa Writers Group members.  Whilst Mariana’s English mystery was very readable and entertaining, one of her fellow students had done his thesis as a series of poems based on murders, the victims sometimes recounting their last moments.  Now THAT was creepy.

Once I launched into the novel, it got more interesting, as the protagonist Lydia McKenzie describes the different vibes in her Brooklyn neighborhood, and one of Lydia’s friends and models for a photo is murdered–and found in just the same pose as is hanging on the gallery wall.

Lydia gets involved after being questioned and suspected by the detectives on the case.  A nice side bit is her interest in vintage clothing.  And is there a glimmer of romance with the male detective?  We’ll see in the next volume, as this is surely the start of a series.

Great summer reading, fast and enjoyable.