12.8.13

FIRST LADY, by Michael Malone

This murder mystery sucked me in and kept me in its grip until the very last page. Malone has created the perfect cop: Homicide Detective Justin Savile V, recovering alcoholic, bereft father, separated husband, loyal friend and polite Southern Gentleman. When Irish rock star Mavis Mahar comes to town, Justin's life goes haywire. The troubled Mavis is irresistible; Justin's best friend Police Chief Cuddy Mangum is beset by a press ravening for his resignation; the City Council is bitterly divided over an on-going murder trial of one of the town's aristocrats; brutally murdered women (one with a taunting toe tag) show up; and what's with the two little Nicaraguan ladies? This is one of the few mysteries where I've actually got the killer right...but even if you do as well, you'll still be gripped by the wild, no-holds-barred ending...and Justin's own ending as well.
This has been called a Southern Novel, and I suppose it is...even if you don't like Southern Novels, read this one. There's nothing about it not to like. It's the perfect summer read. I give it a 5 and I bet you will, too.