MYSTERY

After She Wrote Him

Poisoned Pen: Sourcebooks. Apr. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781728209159. pap. $16.99. M
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Madeleine d’Leon is an Australian author who writes quirky, whimsical mysteries until she creates the character Edward McGinnity, a writer. Or does she? Edward McGinnity is a writer of literary novels who creates a genre writer named Madeleine d’Leon. As they reveal the stories they are writing, they discover more about each other. Edward is in love with an artist, Willow, but she’s married to a man he detests. Edward is at Willow’s art show when a critic is murdered, and he’s the primary suspect. Madeleine is a successful mystery writer whose married life to the local doctor is marked by her loneliness after four miscarriages, and her husband sees her sliding into obsession with her new character. This unconventional mystery is an open-ended puzzle that asks the reader to determine who is the writer and who is the character. What is reality?
VERDICT This mystery won the 2018 Ned Kelly Award under the title Crossing the Lines. Now available in the United States, it’s a twisted masterpiece about writing and the loss of identity while writing. The disturbing examination of obsession and loss will appeal to readers of literary novels and introspective books about the writing process.
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