Author: Stacy Verdick Case
Published: October 2014
Publisher: Before the Book Falls
Edition: Advance Reader's Copy
Source: a complimentary copy was provided by the author to facilitate an honest and unbiased review.
When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murdered in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O’Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn’t the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?
An Intimate Murder
by Stacy Verdick Case
The world as a whole is a strange place, and the people who inhabit this world are even stranger. The Luther’s neighbors proved to be the strangest I’d encountered in ten years of law enforcement. Considering the whackos and ice-blooded murders I’d run into, these neighbors could be proud of their over achieving ways.
The street looked benign, an affluent tree lined parkway with a BMW or Mercedes in every other driveway. The neighbor across the street had a pickup truck in their drive, but it turned out to be the yard man’s, who happened to be cleaning up the left behinds from the oak and maple fall deposits. Pretty to look at until they rotted into brown slime piles on your grass.
We questioned every neighbor on the block but no one heard the gunshots. They lived behind triple pane glass where the temperature was never too hot or too cold. Only one had dared to steal a glance out their insulated glass when an older car, rusted in too many places and not carrying the pedigree of a classic automobile, sped down the street.
“I knew right away they were up to no good.” Bernice Leigh, who claimed a relation to Janet Leigh, rocked on the edge of her tufted, chintz ottoman.
“Well maybe not right away.” She rolled her hand dramatically in the air. “At first I thought the car could belong to one of the boy’s friends who visit the Luthers from time to time.”
“Did you know the Luthers very well?” Louise nibbled the edge of a Ginger Thin Mrs. Leigh had fanned out on a china plate, and placed on the coffee table in front of us.
Bernice Leigh shook her head with such force that her hair, which had been so obviously a wig, dislodged itself and canted to one side. Bernice righted the wig without as much as a second thought.
An Intimate Murder or two. The husband was found shot in his train room on the upper floor of their home while his wife was found stabbed to death downstairs. Why was the husband shot and the wife stabbed? Different modus operandi - makes the reader question why and if there were two killers, perhaps? Was their nineteen year old son involved? This is what Detectives Catherine and Louise find themselves investigating in an affluent suburban neighbourhood where things like this don't happen, but they do and did.
Case returns with the third book in this mystery series starring Catherine O'Brien who's a little mouthy, somewhat average though her handsome husband reminds her she's gorgeous, and rather obstinate but extremely likable character. Paired with her partner Louise who is beautiful, smart and extremely dangerous behind the wheel; the two detectives are strong female characters who are very real and humorous to boot. To make matters worse, the homicide detectives are saddled with a reporter who pulled strings to shadow them so she could report on the murder investigation procedures.
I'd forgotten how much I'd enjoyed the first book in this series, A Grand Murder. It didn't take long for me to recall how Case can combine murder, mystery and humour with strong characterizations to make a compelling novel that makes you yearn for more. Case's writing pulls you in, her characters are realistic and well-formed, the plot not overly complex; making a quick enjoyable read perfect with a cup of tea and a throw.
By the way, how did I miss the second book, A Luring Murder? Now I simply must get myself a copy! Once you pick up the first, you'll have to read all the Catherine O'Brien mysteries, trust me.
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband and her daughter. Her Catherine O'Brien mysteries, A Grand Murder & A Luring Murder, and An Intimate Murder are available from Before the Fall Books.
Stacy is hard at work on her fourth book in the series.
Visit Stacy on the web at www.StacyVerdickCase.com or https://www.facebook.com/StacyVerdickCase Also on Twitter https://twitter.com/SVerdickCase