Ms. Alter’s quick, snappy writing style and fast-paced storyline will grab mystery fans right from the start: but her characters will keep people reading.
When a missing person is inescapably tied Susan Hogan, some of the police assume she’s guilty. She knows she’s not, and happily, she has a useful connection in the police department, in boyfriend Jake. Jake is a bit long-suffering, but a likable guy and truly believes her innocent.
Susan is an unusual, youngish-but still absentminded professor type; not easily fooled, but still sympathetic to her students. This main character immediately likable, mostly for her human qualities. She’s both forgetful and sharp, as well as quick-witted. While she doesn’t want to be blamed for a murder, she doesn’t start investigating until it seems as if she has become a target, as well.
There are intriguing potential suspects, from fellow classmates of the student to certain faculty members that might be putting a more devious plan in mind. Its unpredictable, in exactly the way a good mystery should be. You’ll be puzzling over clues and characters as you go.
Red-herrings also abound, as someone, we soon discover, must have set Susan up. Sorting the real clues from the ‘placed’ is all part of the challenge.
I also enjoyed the quick conversations and some of the secondary characters; the toad-like Ernie springs to mind. Aunt Jenny, every bit as stubborn as Susan herself, is another star performer. Aunt Jenny seemed to be whipping up dinner (centered around beef) for every disaster. Great, individual and interesting characters and simply super writing make this a must-read for mystery fans.
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