The Marriage at the Rue Morgue
A Rue and Lakeland Mystery
Jessie Bishop Powell
Five Star, July 2014
If you like your humor blended with darkness here and there, then you may find The Marriage at the Rue Morgue as delightful a read as I did. I also learned a lot about orangutans and primates in the process.
The Marriage at Rue Morgue has a very comical thread throughout the story. Noel Rue, the bride, has made an art out of not planning her wedding to Lance Lakeland over the last year but now the big day is almost here. It’s not that she doesn’t want to get married; it’s just, well, complicated by her past experiences and the events that keep happening around her.
The novel is fast paced and well written. And there is definitely more humor than dark. It’s a fun read but it takes time here and there to make some interesting points about important things as well, like keeping wild animals safely in the primate sanctuary where Noel and Lance work together as primatologists.
The ending of the novel, which I won’t disclose, does lean more to the dark side. Some may think it goes awry here. But this is a murder mystery and although it may be a change of tone, I thought it was very well handled and gave the book more meaning and substance.
Throughout the book, we learn about their passion not just for each other but for their work and the animals in their care. It’s a fun read that also has some important things to say. I recommend it.
Reviewed by Constance Reader, October 2014.
Lion Plays Rough
A Leo Maxwell Mystery
The Mysterious Press, February 2014
Leo Maxwell is a defense attorney with a conscience, and in this follow-up novel he exhibits all the ego and characteristics of the breed. He thinks he knows it all, and as a result nearly gets himself killed. It all begins when he is handed a possible case by a woman tipster and he is blind to the possibility that he is being duped.
But being a lawyer isn’t enough for Leo. He becomes an investigator and performs other roles, some of which are possibly unethical. All these machinations sometimes are too much for the reader to slog through, and the complicated plot slows progress through the pages. There is a courtroom scene which is well-presented and written by an author who is, after all, a practicing attorney, albeit not in criminal law. On the other hand, the same cannot be said for the remainder of the novel.
Reviewed by Ted Feit, August 2014.