Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.
I had tremendous fun with this debut mystery novel, set in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, not least because I know the town well enough to identify individual buildings mentioned in the book. It's a quiet, sleepy Main Line town where the biggest problem is usually one of the idle rich overdoing it at the country club's cocktail bar. So it's a big shock when Kristen Clark, the struggling owner of an antiques shop, stumbles over the local real estate shark, knocked out under a bush, while walking her overweight basset hound at the plush manor across the way. Within days, the hot chef in town suffers an accident, and the hunt is on.
The writing sparkles, and Kristen is a funny and sympathetic guide. I enjoyed the gallery of social portraits hugely—everything but the ending, in fact, which comes from so far out of left field that the author has to resort to the old confession trick (at least not engineered by the detective). But by then I didn't care, and besides I could piece it together in retrospect. Looking forward to the sequel, although it does not, alas, take place in Bryn Mawr.