Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Book Review: 'Murphy's Will' by Edward A. McCoyd

Murphy's Will by Edward a McCoyd

‘About Mrs. Murphy. Her son is missing!’ 

New York author Edward A McCoyd is a lawyer who lectures and publishes numerous articles on estate and probate matters. Using his experience and depth of knowledge about probate litigation, Edward has written three novels in a series about last will and testament situations – SIMPSON’S WILL, FORESTER’S WILL and now MURPHY’S WILL: each is a novel that incorporates an insider’s view of the legal aspects of wills while supplementing that with a keen ability to introduce involving mystery. Edward lives on Long Island.

In a very dramatic curtain raiser, Edward sets the tone for his new novel with the sudden demise of the title’s named character – Murphy – as Madeline Murphy reaches out for assistance when her husband Frank Murphy collapses. The sense of desperation extends beyond the tragedy and into the financial aspects that so often accompany deaths, especially deaths without Wills. But in this case Murphy’s will opens the floodgates for the drama: Hannibal (Hanny) Murphy, the errant sole son of Murphy is the sole beneficiary. And to add to the complications, the story is set in 1987, the year of Black Monday!

The manner in which the mystery evolves is indicated in the terse synopsis – ‘It’s 1987. Several years earlier, with little money but big ideas, a young man named Hanny set off to find answers to what he considered life’s great questions. He hasn’t been heard from since he was in Peru three years ago, and his father has since died in a car accident. Hanny doesn’t know that, nor is he aware that he’s the sole beneficiary under his father’s Will. Hanny’s mother, Madeline Murphy, works for Tim O’Leary, a seasoned trusts and estates attorney. Tim and his wife Marge, a private investigator, locate Hanny after an adventurous search. Unsettling information comes to light, however, about how Hanny’s uncle Chris, the executor, has been investing the estate assets. Tim persuades a court to step in, but something terrible happens. Realizing he has run out of options, he drives to Vermont to meet with Hanny and deliver the tragic news.’

Related with a sure sense of atmosphere and apropos mood, Edward’s novel unfolds with a spellbinding intensity, and in the process of weaving a solid story the reader is treated to some fine insights into the interstices of the legal aspects of the administration of estates! Highly recommended.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.