Archive for February 8th, 2007
THE MARATHON MURDERS is the fourth Greg McKenzie mystery by Chester Campbell. Greg, a former agent for Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, and his wife Jill, a pilot who had operated a charter air service, didn’t take to retirement and have opened their own private investigations office. An acquaintance from a previous case brings them a new client. Kelli Kane’s request seems simple – she wants the McKenzie’s to locate a man who called her grandfather about some old company papers that had been found when some restoration was being done on the defunct Marathon Motor Works building. Kelli and her grandfather are hoping that the papers have something to do with her great-grandfather’s disappearance more than 90 years ago. He had been accused of embezzling from Marathon Motors, disappeared before any charges were filed, and his body had been found five years later. The documents had her great-grandfather’s name on them, but the papers and the man who found them are now missing.
It doesn’t take the McKenzies long to find the body of the missing – and murdered – man, but the documents aren’t with him. It seems that Kelli and her grandfather aren’t the only ones interested in getting a look at those papers. Unfortunately, the other parties are prepared to kill to get them.I liked THE MARATHON MURDERS, it is a fast read with pleasant and intelligent characters. Greg and Jill make a good investigative team and Campbell shows them pursuing the case in a realistic and logical fashion. In other words, lots of legwork, phone calls and research. And the fact that Marathon Motor Works actually did exist adds some fun and interest to the story.Favorite character? Probably Jill, who isn’t anyone’s foil.
Did I guess it? Yes. Will I read another? Yes.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com ©2007
The Body in the Ivy is described as an homage to Agatha Christieâ€™s And Then There Were None. For those of you who have forgotten your classics, this is the book in which a bunch of strangers are invited to a deserted island and bumped off one by one. It is also the book that taught us to be suspicious of dead people. In mysteries there is dead – and then there is really dead.
The twist in this book is that the host and the guests went to a womensâ€™ college together years ago but lost touch after graduation. The body of the hostâ€™s twin sister was found at the bottom of a tower on campus, a presumed suicide, during graduation weekend. The host has never believed it was suicide and has gathered together her old classmates to try to find a murderer.
Enter the caterer. Needing someone to cater this little party, the host calls on our heroine Faith Fairchild. Faith and the guests are all surprised when they find out the real purpose of their visit to the island, tempers flare, and soon the bodies start piling up.
Unfortunately, The Body in the Ivy isnâ€™t much of a mystery. Much of the book is taken up with flashbacks to college days that explore the womensâ€™ motives for murder, but no other clues are introduced. As a novel exploring how a young woman can ruin the lives of her friends it is interesting, but as a mystery, it is a dud.
The writing is good, the food sounds good, and the descriptions of life at a womensâ€™ college are interesting (the author went to one in real life). But Faith doesnâ€™t appear much in the book and I think fans or readers expecting a mystery will be disappointed.
Favorite character? The breakfast muffins. Where is the recipe for those? Did I guess it? No â€“ there were no clues. Will I read another? Maybe.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007