Saturday, September 11, 2010

'Fallen Angels', Alice Duncan, May, 2011; Five Star/Cengage

Mercy Allcutt has just moved to Los Angeles from Boston and lives with her sister Chloe and her husband, Harvey Nash. Mercy has secured a position as secretary to Mr. Ernest Templeton, a private investigator, and she has helped Ernie solve a few murder mysteries so the thrill of being a 'co-investigator' is in her blood. She is the first woman in her family to obtain a job, much to her Bostonian mother's outrage.
When Mercy arrives at work on Monday, her boss has left her a note that he went to see a client. But he is late for a meeting with Phil Bigelow, a detective and friend from the LAPD. After hours of waiting go by and no Ernie, Mercy decides to go to the client's house where she not only discovers a body, but Ernie, bound and gagged in the upstairs bedroom. Ernie becomes a suspect of the LAPD when Detective O'Reilly, an adversary of Ernie's, takes over the case. Mercy becomes diligent about proving Ernie's innocence and finds herself in a tangled web of deceit.

Once again, Alice Duncan provides the reader a look at the social culture of the time. In 'Fallen Angels', Duncan portrays her characters skillfully and with humor. Her Boston society view vs. Los Angeles 'society' shows her insight and knowledge.

I'm an avid Duncan fan; in 'Fallen Angels' I thought the murderer was too obvious as the main suspect in this mystery. But I truly delight in Alice's ability to add a 'slice of life' to her books!

FTC Disclosure: Book provided by author

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