Sunday, May 24, 2009

POSED FOR MURDER by Meredith Cole (Minotaur)

When I read this winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition, I realized that my suspicions were confirmed: Many of the "traditional" mysteries are taking a turn toward the dark side. Posed complies with most of the definition—small cast of characters, amateur sleuth, little if any profanity, and no direct violence. Where Posed takes its turn is in the subject.

Lydia McKenzie is a struggling photographer in the Williamsburg district of New York. On the opening night of her gallery showing she is stunned when police are among the visitors—a killer has posed his victim exactly like one of her photos. Lydia's entire body of work is comprised of recreations of death scenes from actual murders. Her friends—dressed in items from Lydia's vintage wardrobe——are her models.

Knowing she had nothing to do with her friend's murder, Lydia works frantically to solve the crime before others——including herself——are killed. I look forward to more from Meredith Cole!

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