Murder With a Twist
If you miss William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man movies, have I got a new mystery novel for you! Out in early May is Murder With a Twist by Tracy Kiely, a modern, gender-flipped version of that premise.
Nic (Nicole) Martini used to be a New York City police detective (until she was shot and went on disability leave). Nigel is her flippant husband, with plenty of inherited money and a crazy family.
They’re back in the city for Christmas when Nigel’s cousin Daphne enlists their help. Another cousin, Audrey, is about to celebrate her 25th birthday, when she’ll get full access to her trust fund. Everyone in the family knows her husband Leo is a sleazy gold-digger, but Audrey won’t listen. He’s disappeared, and she’ll be heartbroken if he isn’t back for her party. The family, lead by tyrannical Aunt Olive, wants Nic to find Leo for Audrey.
Leo has been borrowing money from loan sharks, which takes Nic back into her old police haunts as the two figure out what the loser has been doing. Meanwhile, Nigel has acquired a giant bull mastiff named Skippy, who provides much of the humor, as the horse-like dog accompanies them everywhere.
Much of the appeal comes from the various conversations and descriptions of a modern moneyed world. I don’t normally figure out the mysteries I read, and I didn’t totally solve this one, but I did successfully deduce much of the background before the resolution, which made me feel special (although it may be a side effect of the author’s character descriptions). I appreciated the way that the people that got killed all deserved it, or at least wouldn’t be much missed.
It’s a breezy read that blends light-hearted incidents with revelations of family secrets. I’d eagerly read more if it became a series. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)