A Perfect Manhattan Murder
It’s a wonderful thing when the third installment of a mystery series is even better than the previous books. Nic and Nigel Martini have returned in A Perfect Manhattan Murder. (They first appeared in Murder With a Twist and took on Hollywood in Killer Cocktail.) This time, they’re back in New York, where Nic used to be a police detective, until a wound put her into retirement, and Nigel knows, as he always does, the rich and snooty.
They’re visiting to see a new play written by an old friend, but another old friend, Harper, is struggling. Her husband, a theater critic, has annoyed, insulted, and disgusted just about everyone. He’s a social-climbing narcissist, so when he turns up dead, no one is unhappy. However, Harper is the leading suspect, so Nic and Nigel work on finding the real criminal to protect her.
The suspects include a theater producer with a fondness for young women, the play’s cast of actors, each with their own secrets and foibles, and various co-workers. I know it’s an easy way to comedy, but I particularly like the Martini’s dog, a remarkably well-behaved bullmastiff named Skippy that loves to shake hands and keeps getting mistaken for a small horse.
The dialogue sparkles, as always, and the mystery is a fast, fun read with plenty of distinctive characters. It’s a shame it’s so engrossing that I moved through it so quickly, because I’d like to spend a lot more time with Nic and Nigel. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)