Book Review: Forty Dead Men by Donis Casey

Forty Dead Men
An Alafair Tucker Mystery #10
Donis Casey
Poisoned Pen Press, February 2018
ISBN 978-1-4642-0937-6

This latest of the Alafair Tucker mysteries sees Alafair’s son, Gee Dub, home from WWI.  Unfortunately, although he reconnects with his large family and puts on a good face, Alafair knows something is wrong with her strong, quiet son. When he finds a young woman in a field behaving oddly and brings her home to his mother, the situation only grows worse. Alafair befriends the woman, but then a murder is committed and suspicion falls on Gee Dub. Even Alafair has her doubts when she finds an ammunition case that generally holds forty bullets, but now holds only one, which then goes missing.

Soldiers have always suffered from PTSD. In WWI it was called shell shock and Gee Dub has more reason to suffer from it than many. He often struggles with what is real and what is not, but even so, this story holds some surprising twists and turns.

This is a powerful story of family, love and kindness, and hardship, too. Not to be missed.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2018.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder, Four Furlongs and Hometown Homicide.

Book Review: In A Gilded Cage by Rhys Bowen

In A Gilded Cage
Rhys Bowen
Minotaur Books, 2009
ISBN No. 978-0-312-38534-7
Also available as a mass market paperback
ISBN 978-0-312-38170-7

Reading a Molly Murphy book is like sitting down with an old friend.  Molly is one brave woman and believes in her own ability as a detective and as a woman.  She is a lot of fun, too.

Molly joins her friends Elena Goldfarb and Augusta Walcott in the Easter Parade.   The group is marching for women’s rights.  Many people feel that women should not make such a public exhibition and their march is not well received. When the marchers are arrested, Daniel, Molly’s boyfriend, comes to their rescue.

Influenza has struck the city and many people are ill.   Molly had the flu but has recently recovered.  The march has helped Molly with her business.   Emily Boswell, one of the participants in the march, has hired Molly to investigate her background.  Emily has been told her parents died while out of the country as missionaries but Emily doubts that story.

Emily’s friend, Fanny Poindexter, thinks her husband has another woman on the side and hires Molly to investigate.  Before Molly can make a report to Fanny, she receives word that Fanny is very ill.

Soon Molly suspects Fanny’s illness may have nothing to do with the flu.  Molly suspects poison but cannot pinpoint where it came from or how the poison may have been administered.  Fanny won’t be the last to suffer from the mysterious illness.

In a Gilded Cage is a wonderful addition to the Molly Murphy series.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, March 2009.