Monday, December 21, 2009

Print the Legend-Craig McDonald

Print the Legend
Craig McDonald
Minotaur, Feb 16 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312554378

On July 2, 1961, writer Ernest Hemingway apparently committed suicide with a shotgun blast to his head. Four years later, a “Papa” academia conference in Sun Valley, Idaho is convened. Expected to make an appearance is the late great writer’s third and last wife Mary.

Three men arriving in Sun Valley hope to meet with the widow demanding she answer questions they have surrounding her husband’s death. The last survivor of the Lost Generation, Hemingway’s friend crime novelist Hector Lassiter has heard rumors that manuscripts never published exist; including a novel by the deluded Papa that casts several of his friends in a bad light. Hemingway scholar Professor Richard Paulson and his pregnant wife Hannah believe Mary killed Hemingway and they plan to prove it. They seek the truth not out of some form of justice as the Paulsons believe she committed a mercy killing, but to make his reputation. The third person on a mission is aging FBI Agent Donovan Creedy who obsessively believes a homicide occurred and just can’t let it go.

The premise that Mary killed her husband Hemingway in a mercy killing is carried out brilliantly in the latest Hector Lassiter mystery (see Toros & Torsos). The cast makes the tale as the three men; Mary and Papa (through the memories of Mary and Hec, and the beliefs of Creedy and Paulson) collide in 1965 Idaho. Fans will be enthralled as Print the Legend is a terrific historical thriller that grips readers with its exciting look at the shocking 1961 death of a literary great.

Harriet Klausner