Friday, July 16, 2010

A Deadly Row-Casey Mayes

A Deadly Row
Casey Mayes
Berkley, Sep 7 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425236413

Zach was the Police Chief of Charlotte, North Carolina when he was shot in the chest and forced to retire. He and his wife puzzle creator Savannah Stone moved to Parson’s Valley far away from the big urban centers, but police work is part of Zach’s DNA makeup so he opens up a consulting firm.

The new Police Chief Davis Rowles, who Zach recommended, asks for his services. Charlotte Mayor Grady Winslow is receiving threatening letters from someone who apparently has killed two people already. When they arrive at the Belmont, they are put up in the swanky suite.owned by billionaire Baton Lane. One of the victims worked for him and was a friend so he believes hosting the Stones is his minor contribution to capturing the killer. Savannah’s puzzle skills come in handy when letters and pictures come to the police station with a puzzle number on the package; she knows if she finds the key she will locate the psychopath. Zach uses mundane police methods by questioning suspects including Davis and Grady. Both of the Stones arrive at the identification of the killer at the same time, but now Savannah’s life is in danger.

Casey Mayes has written a fascinating amateur sleuth-police procedural starring a husband and wife couple who work well together. The pair loves one another and talks to each other sharing notes on their respective inquiry. Character driven with several terrific twists, readers who enjoy mysteries like those of Parnell Hall’s Puzzle Lady will enjoy observing the two Stones methodically work separately and together on their first joint case.

Harriet Klausner

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