Step back into the days of Prohibition with author N.S. Patrick as he investigates the mystery of The Murder of Wednesday’s Children from Silver Knight Publishing, LLC. Patrick has created a moody story, reminiscent of an old Humphrey Bogart movie, complete with dashing hero Archer Reed, sassy heroine Ione Wallace and a greyhound named Tango.
When poisonous rotgut booze causes the death of two of his friends, Wallace declares his own private war on Prohibition. His antipathy for the unpopular law leads him into several business alignments which carry him ever deeper into shady dealings.
The danger heightens with a business proposition to be shared on Mantioch Island, a secluded island off the New England coast. The supposed subject for the proposition is a new invention, plastic. Reed and Wallace are among the invited guests at the posh mansion where the action takes place. With a cast of characters that includes British chemists, German brewers, American businessmen and more, this meeting comes close to qualifying as an international summit.
What transpires on the island is nothing short of murder — several of them, in fact. Reed and Wallace must follow every lead if they hope to solve the killings in time to prevent more of them. Readers get to know the little island’s geography and the local denizens as the case progresses.
The period references throughout the story add to the sassy feeling. Dialogue delivers smart interchanges. The old nursery rhyme about children’s days of birth plays an interesting role in the plot. A tangled web of motives and agendas push the story along
Patrick previously released The Mysteries of Jack the Ripper, also through Silver Knight Publishing, LLC. His bio states he “…was born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He attended Albion College receiving a BA in Business Administration, after which, he served as a U. S. Naval Officer in Guantanamo Bay during the missile crisis and on a minesweeper during the Viet Nam conflict.” Now retired to south Louisiana, he has his own Tango, a rescue greyhound. His experiences have surely contributed to the realism of the sailing scenes in the story and the many business related aspects therein.
The book identifies itself as the first in a proposed series, so readers can look forward to more adventures with the feisty trio. Can Patrick keep the series going like Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles with faithful Asta in The Thin Man series, or Todd Borg’s Owen McKenna, Street Casey and Spot the Great Dane in the Owen McKenna Mysteries and so many other mystery series with an ongoing pet?
Readers who appreciate sophisticated dialogue and period mysteries can only hope that Patrick delivers the next book in the series in short order. In the style of Hammett and Agatha Christie, The Murder of Wednesday’s Children carries readers back into another time, another mindset. Immerse yourself in the Prohibition Era and come along for the ride.
The Murder of Wednesday’s Children by N.S. Patrick
Published by Silver Knight Publishing, LLC
Available in both print and electronic book editions
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review copy provided by the author or publisher with no restrictions as to content. All opinions are my own.
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