by Kathleen Kaska
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Bookmarked for Murder, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to support KRL.
St. Benignus College in Erin Ohio might not be a desert island, a locked room, or an express train speeding to the Orient, but the quaint setting in Bookmarked for Murder is reminiscent of an Agatha Christie mystery, and author Dan Andriacco’s plotting holds muster with the Grand Dame. Bookmarked for Murder is Andriacco’s fifth mystery in his Jeff Cody/Sebastian McCabe series and it does not disappoint as it’s Andriacco’s best yet.
Noah Bartlett, member of the Poisoned Pens writing-critique group and owner of Pages Gone By used bookstore, is found murdered in the store’s mystery aisle. Amateur sleuths Cody and his brother-in-law, McCabe, are hot on the case, and not short on suspects. In fact, Bartlett offers a dying clue by clutching a copy of the bodice-ripper romance novel, Love’s Dark Secret. The book’s title sets the theme for the story, since the suspects all seem to have a secret worth killing for.
Clues and red herrings abound as the duo pursues the investigation. The night before his murder, Bartlett and the Poisoned Pens had hosted an awarding-winning mystery writer, Dunbar Yates, to speak at their monthly meeting. The meeting wrapped up with a discussion on how the seven deadly sins could be murder motives. Bartlett offered one as “a damned good reason to kill somebody.” The next morning, he’s dead. Because he was a stranger in town and knew Bartlett from when he lived in New York City, Yates was a suspect, along with everyone else in attendance. This meant Cody and McCabe’s friends were also under suspicion. To complicate matters, said suspects were eager to voice their own opinions on who killed Bartlett and why. Even Dr. Sydney Bloomingdale, a renowned Erin psychologist and TV commentator, goes on air, suggesting that the murder weapon used—a Maltese Falcon statue—was a significant psychological clue. When Dr. Bloomingdale was attacked a few days later, Cody and McCabe wonder if she knows more than she is telling. As they come closer to their discovery, skeletons pour out of closets clutching the seven deadly sins in their bony fingers.
The ingenious twist at the end is an example of Andriacco’s masterful ability to pen a page-turner. Bookmarked is a must-read for anyone who loves a classic who-done-it.
Dan Andriacco discovered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories at about the age of nine. Not long after, he became acquainted with such greats of the Golden Age of detective fiction as Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, John Dickson Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner, and many more. His earliest career goal was to become a mystery writer. He eventually did, while holding down day jobs at The Cincinnati Post as a reporter and editor, and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as communications director. He also wrote a monthly mystery review column for The Post and taught non-credit classes in mystery fiction and mystery writing.
Andriacco has been a member of the Tankerville Club, a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars. That connection is reflected in many ways in his book, Baker Street Beat: An Eclectic Collection of Sherlockian Scribblings. Look for Erin Go Bloody later this year and Queen City Corpse in 2017. Learn more on Dan’s website.
To enter to win a copy of Bookmarked for Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “bookmarked,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 30, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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Click on this link to purchase this book and a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy: