Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Murder Game-Linda Suzane

The Murder Game
Linda Suzane
Wings ePress, Sep 2008
ISBN: 9781597056748

Gwen Wilson travels to Mt. Tamalpais just north of San Francisco to create a murder mystery game based on her literary detective Adam Long for Lawrence Van Hise on his seventieth birthday. Gwen knows Lawrence because her mom worked for him two decades ago at his home Hillside Cottage as his housekeeper until he accused her of stealing a valuable jade statue. Soon afterward she and her mother left allegedly to take care of an ailing aunt but soon after the accused committed suicide.

While working on the game, Gwen, who believes no one will recognize her as that tweener child with a different surname, also plans to investigate the cold case theft as she rejects the notion her mom took it; she also has doubts that her mom took her own life. As she considers what Long would do next she digs deeper into the pasts of her mom and her client, his son Hunter offers to help. When she was younger she was attracted to Hunter and to her chagrin still is. At the night of the event, the guest of honor is found dead with Gwen as the only suspect.

This is intriguing amateur sleuth tale as the heroine seeks closure with her mother’s death and finally after years has the opportunity to try to prove someone else stole the statue as Gwen rejects the premise of her mom being a thief. Her use of Long as her “mentor” guide has been done before, but is refreshed with Gwen’s bumbling efforts that only enhance her as the number one suspect. Readers who appreciate an engaging whodunit will enjoy this fun cozy as Gwen wonders if history is about to repeat itself.

Harriet Klausner