Book Review: Edited for Death by Michele Drier

Edited for Death
Michele Drier
Mainly Murder Press, October 2011
ISBN 978-0-9836823-1-8
Trade Paperback

The recent death of a US Senator, also a World War II hero, leads Amy Hobbes, manager of a small-town newspaper, to send her reporter, Clarice, to the Senator’s nearby hometown on assignment.  Marshalltown, in Northern California, is a survivor of the Gold Rush days and Amy believes the Senator’s story could lead to a book, possibly her ticket out of the dying newspaper business.

Juxtaposed with Clarice’s research is the story of an American G. I. in Heidelberg, Germany, in the waning days of World War II, a story that mixes fear with heroics and a moment’s decision that will have repercussions many years later.

Clarice’s research in Marshalltown brings out some interesting background about the town and the Senator’s family, centered in the old hotel now owned by Senator Calvert’s grandson, but nothing seems to be especially exciting. Then, a death occurs in the hotel, a death that may be due to murder. The possibility of murder, of course, send Amy’s and Clarice’s investigative instincts into overdrive.

The author’s debut novel is nicely done with only the occasional misstep, mainly having to do with why the characters would do certain things. These plotting errors didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story and connecting World War II to the present-day mystery adds a depth that lifts the book above many debuts. The only thing I didn’t like has to do with a personal preference—I really don’t care for first person present tense—but I’ll look forward to reading more by Ms. Drier.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2011.