Friday, September 14, 2018

L. R. Wright's The Suspect

The Suspect (1985) is the first of Wright's Karl Alberg mysteries, set on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Alberg is a staff sergeant of the Mounties, separated from his wife, and newly arrived in British Columbia.

But this is one of those murder mysteries where we know from page one who it was committed the murder. The question here is why? And will Alberg figure out the murderer and his motivation, and once he does what will he do about it?

In the first chapter we see George Wilcox, a man of 80 years or so, murder his neighbor Carlyle Burke, also of about 80. Wilcox bashes Burke over the head with an anti-aircraft gun shell casing. What's that all about? Gradually we learn.

I'm not usually a fan of the Columbo-style plot, but I thought it worked here. And like a Columbo mystery, you really need to like your detective to make this format work. Well, Peter Falk is very amusing. And here the character Karl Alberg is pretty likeable; it's OK to spend time with him. He meets the local librarian Cassandra Mitchell and cautiously they begin to become a couple. Both of them suspect Wilcox is the murderer, but it's also the case they both like Wilcox and begin to suspect he may have a good motive for what he's done.

It's the first of Wright's Alberg and Cassandra series I've read, but she wrote a total of nine of them before she passed away in 2001. I'd read another.

I've already completed my plan for My Reader's Block's Vintage Mystery Challenge silver card, but what the heck, I'll add another. How. Death by Blunt Instrument.

It also counts for my Canadian Book Challenge.

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