Friday, January 13, 2012

Fadeaway Girl-Martha Grimes

Fadeaway Girl

Martha Grimes

NAL, Feb 7 2012, $15.00

ISBN: 9780451235640

In LaPorte, Maryland three weeks ago a murderer almost killed twelve year old Emma Graham, cub reporter for the Conservative (see Belle Ruin). She knows how she came close to death as it began when she started to conduct research into the abduction of Baby Fay Slade two decades ago from the Belle Rouen Hotel which since burned to the ground (see Cold Flat Junction); when her passive inquiry failed, she turned active sleuth questioning those who should care or know something, which led to her near death experience.

Her mother hires slick Rafe to work at the hotel. Emma knows he is fake charmer so she suspects the new employee of sinister activity so she tails him with the help of her “chauffeur” the taxi driver. Morris Slade, father of the kidnapped baby, comes to town for the first time years. He was the prime suspect then and remains the prime suspect in the cold case that only Emma investigates. Soon after Slade arrives, a corpse is found leaving Emma to know her inquiry has someone nervous while she in peril again.

The third Graham tweener mystery is an engaging tale as the heroine balances her time amidst her kooky family, eccentric friends and people of interest, work at the hotel, and investigative journalism. However, the enjoyable tale lacks A Red Herring Without Mustard (by Alan Bradley) as the fun investigation is very straightforward. To fully appreciate the events of this storyline, fans should read the previous novels as the aptly titled Fadeaway Girl builds directly from those events even with the heroine providing some backstory. Still overall Emma Graham, tweener Nancy Drew, provides an entertaining mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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