Minotaur, May 10 2011
An unknown culprit kills artist Jane Wragge with a juicer in her home near York Cemetery. York Police Chief Inspector Sam Rounder, who has a weight problem that does not limit him from doing field work, leads the homicide investigation. The victim’s lover Moses Mundy has vanished so instead of just being a person of interest, he is the prime suspect.
Moses hires Sam’s brother Rick a private investigator to look into the violent associates from his past who he believes killed Jane. Rick conceals his client from his sibling while Sam, estranged from his wife, begins to fall in love with Jane after reading her diary that he hid from his investigative team.
With a nod to the Preminger movie Laura, Felicity’s Gate is a fantastic whodunit that has the reader wondering what is going to happen next. Fast-paced, the siblings separately investigate the murder of Jane Wragge in which Rick looks at his client’s previous associates while Sam depends on the dead woman’s diary for clues. The climax is plausible and in fairness well done, but the end is not quite as powerful as the two paths getting there. Still readers will toast the Rounder brothers and want more of their cases from Julian Cole (see The Amateur Historian).