Wednesday, August 05, 2009

THE FITZGERALD RUSE by Mark de Castrique (Poisoned Pen Press)

Iraq amputee Sam Blackman has just opened a new detective office in Asheville with new partner and love of his life, Nakayla Robertson. Before they can even get their furniture placed, they get a case—which, truth be told, doesn't appear to require exceptional skills to handle. Appearances are deceiving, however, and soon the pair is surrounded by dead bodies, death threats, old people, and literary icons.

Once again, de Castrique uses his extensive knowledge of Asheville, its families, and, this time, the Jazz Age to give a contemporary story a sense of nostalgia. The Jazz Age connection to Asheville is F. Scott Fitzgerald, who stayed at Asheville's Grove Park Inn during the summers of 1935–1936.

The story is lively, conditions are compelling, and the mystery incredibly clever. Match your wits against Sam's.

Mark de Castrique will be in the Triangle with the NC Men of Mystery Tour. (See listing on Meritorious Mysteries July 25.)

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