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.