So this book came to me by way of a Goodreads.com giveaway. The story is part of a series written by author John Moss (YAY! for Canadian authors) about homicide detectives David Morgan and Miranda Quin. The story opens with Miranda Quin waking in her bed to find her lover Philip Carter shot to death by her gun, the bed blood soaked with Philip’s entrails and cryptic writing on her bathroom walls. As the novel unfolds the two are left trying to solve the crime, where the body count continues to go up and their only really strong lead is the blonde woman “Elke” who shows up at Miranda’s door with a severed hand in her purse. The plot unfolds in Toronto, New Jersey and even across the pond in England, and builds towards a climax in the heart of Canada’s “world class” city.
This novel had a lot of potential to be a great read. The mafia, homicide detectives, Al Qaeda, mysterious blonde bombshell with a severed hand…it should be a page turner…and in some places it was. For me, it only missed on the ending, and I say that because too much of the mystery was explained before the end of the book. Miranda’s lover, Elke (the bombshell), and the story behind the wine operation all explained away way before the end of the novel. Which left me reading a final chapter or two where the interest level was already down because I knew too much. Other than, that small point, this was an excellent read, and hats off to John Moss for selling me on Canadian style mysteries.
The characters are strong and interesting and I like the relationship between the two main characters. A few loose ends tossed in would encourage me to read another or go back and read the others prior to this one. I am happy as well to find a Canadian author who can turn out a decent murder mystery set primarily in Canada, and tie it in to Canada’s place in the world scene.
John Moss was born in 1940 in Galt Ont, and now resides in Peterborough with his wife Beverly Haun. In 2005 he was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences of The Royal Society of Canada. He has three children. Author of over 16 works, he has lead quite a career, and still finds time for canoeing, cross country skiing and scuba. If you are interested to know more about John and his Quin Morgan Mysteries, check out his site
The novel is published by Dundurn in Toronto
Others in the Quin Morgan series:
The Dead Scholar