Sunday, January 22, 2012
Review: Michele Drier's Edited for Death
Cover of Michele Drier's Edited for Death, first mystery novel.
Edited for Death. Michele Drier. Mainly Murder Press, 2011. Trade paper, $15.95. ISBN: 978-0-983682-1-8. 221 Pages.
Smart, classy, and genuinely entertaining. The clever puzzler, taut and tense, nails the high-stakes reality of a devoted journalist on the hunt for blockbuster story. Breaking news: this mystery is a winner!
----Hank Phillippi Ryan, award-winning author.
***Amy Hobbes, Managing Editor of a small northern California town’s newspaper, the Monroe Press, and her best reporter, Clarice Stams, follow leads as to why several deaths are connected to the hotel Senator Robert Calvert, also dead, owned. The local Sheriff, Jim Dodson, in Marshalltown, where the Senator was the dominant force, appears stumped. He shares enough information to keep Clarice busy writing articles and to get Amy’s curiosity aroused and her research instincts triggered.
In order to understand the present, the women must explore the past. With the help of an old journalist friend, who does art news for a San Francisco paper, Amy begins to see connections and is more hooked than ever when the Senator’s nephew also dies at the hotel.
Edited for Death has a lively, clipped, fresh style; the narrator, Amy, a strong voice. The metaphors are exactly right, the dialogue is zesty and entertaining, but the deeper Amy delves, the more serious the subject matter, because Robert Calvert served in the U.S. Army in World War II and was among the troops which liberated Auschwitz and uncovered the tragic remains of the Jews murdered there.
I like Drier’s honesty, both in her humor and in the tragedy behind the events that led to the present-day deaths. The book is light and solemn by turns, and every touch feels right. The characters are well-fleshed out and fully human. The mystery is carefully plotted to keep us both intrigued and guessing until the very end. My hat is off to Michele Drier and Mainly Murder Press for a zinger of a first novel. Now we need the next crime Amy Hobbes’s instincts tell her she must investigate.
Judy Hogan. I admit that Mainly Murder is also to be my publisher, but I'm choosy about the books I believe in and review.
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz to a pioneer family and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state and has called both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism — as a reporter and editor at large and small daily newspapers – she won awards for producing investigative series. She lives in the Central Valley with cats, skunks, opossums and wild turkeys.
Edited for Death is available from www.mainlymurderpress.com, from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ingram.