The Mystery Writer

Poisoned Pen. Mar. 2024. 400p. ISBN 9781728285184. pap. $16.99. M
Gentill’s latest contemporary mystery (after The Woman in the Library) proves she’s adept at both historical novels (like her Rowland Sinclair series) and ones set in the present day. Theodosia Benton flees law school in Australia and flies to the States, where her big brother Gus lives. Gus, a lawyer himself, allows Theo to stay with him and work toward her new goals. Her passion is to be a writer, and so she finds a local coffee shop in which to write. Amid the other coffee-shop writers, Theo befriends published and well-known author Dan Murdoch. Just as their relationship begins to develop further, Dan is brutally murdered. As Theo tries to work out both Dan’s murder and where his secret manuscript has gone, bodies begin piling up. The police suspect Theo first, but then more information about her brother’s past becomes known. When Gus is arrested, Theo’s decision to disappear in order to deflect blame from him onto herself will change both their lives. Gentill’s worthwhile novels is full of compelling characters, including doomsday preppers, online conspiracy theorists, and overzealous publishing agents.
VERDICT Recommended for Gentill’s fans and readers who enjoy mysteries from Riley Sager, Ruth Ware, or Louise Penny.
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