Friday, July 2, 2010

Wanting Sheila Dead-Jane Haddam

Wanting Sheila Dead
Jane Haddam
Minotaur, Jul 20 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9780312380878

Repulsive Sheila Dunham is universally loathed by everyone. She is a nasty boor who deserves a special place in the Guinness Book of Records for TV firings and for being the most despicable celebrity. She went from reporter to guest personality to reality judge only to be canned by all as the queen of mean terrorizing anyone in her sphere. Recently she began her own successful reality show from her home in New Fenwick, Connecticut where everyone detests the woman too. Someone wants to do more than wish her to drop dead; in fact a woman shoots at her. Sheila’s assistant Olivia Dahl hires Armenian-American detective Gregor Demarkian to investigate. He will soon find himself dealing with a murder that brings back a tragic moment in his own personal history.

Just back home in Philadelphia from his honeymoon with beloved Bennis, Armenian-American detective Gregor is also is hired by the Very Old Ladies to look into one of them, widow Sophie Mgrdchian. With another member Viola Vardanian, he enters Sophie’s home to find a woman on the floor and another seemingly comatose nearby.

This is a great entry in one of the best long running series as the clues are out in the open, but easily missed due to brilliant red herrings and misdirection. Demarkian is terrific as he looks into his two cases while also showering attention on two women in his life: Bennis and Agatha Christie. Fans will relish this entry as Jane Haddam provides a fabulous whodunit that also takes a biting lampooning of so called realty TV.

Harriet Klausner

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