This is not the cozy mystery that it seems to be just by looking at the cover. Rather, it is a story of spying, politics and a possible Fourth Reich with the goal of world domination. When Fitz Donavan befriends his elderly neighbor, Mrs. W, all he expected to find was another bibliophile. Instead, she tells him that her life is in danger and asks him to return later so that she can reveal her secrets. Before she can do so, however, she is brutally tortured and murdered. Thus, Fitz, a retired NYC police chief, is pulled into discovering her secrets and why an old lady would be tortured and killed. Fitz calls on his daughters, granddaughters and their friends to help him discover Mrs. W’s past, the secrets that got her killed. The plot is unbelievable but very well-written so that I was quickly drawn into the story, feeling an urgency to discover the secrets that Mrs. W held so close. The book had the usual mystical and psychic elements of the author since Maeve, Fitz’s daughter, has a “second sight” and other abilities that lead to clues to solve the mystery. Fitz is helped by some really quirky and likable characters, many of whom have surreal abilities with science and computers, but all of which are necessary in order to solve the mystery of the elderly neighbor’s death. This book combines mystery with a conspiracy theory and is actually a very dark novel that leads us to a conclusion that is satisfactory but somewhat abrupt. I think that readers of novels with a lot of weblike elements that unravel slowly will enjoy this book. There were some slow parts in the book, but for the most part it was fast-paced and amusing, with a quality of “what the heck just happened?”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
This is a very dark mystery novel and is not for everyone. I had trouble reading the parts with the psychic descriptions since I don’t believe in those abilities and believe that they are “dark arts.” Nevertheless, I persevered to read and write a review since I had promised to do so. The four-star rating is because the author wrote a good story, but the content was not really for me.