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Amber's Thoughts

Reviews and updates from Amber Foxx, author of the Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Series



A Traditional Mystery

A Murderer Among Us - Marilyn Levinson

The setting in a gated community on Long Island is a creative variation on the classic country house murder mystery. The wealthy, ensconced in their luxurious and presumably safe place, find that they are not safe after all. Because a murder took place within their gates, they know it was one of them, or a friend or relative they let in. Everyone starts suspecting each other, leading to some well-plotted red herrings.


The story starts out explosively fast, with conflict about—what else—money. One of the community members has a history of corrupt financial dealings and has been hiding it—until Lydia Krause reveals it in public. Lydia is a retired executive and a widow, in the process of making friends in her new community, and making enemies as well. Her involvement in solving the mystery as an amateur begins realistically. Someone used her car as a murder weapon.


This is one of those books that is so well-crafted for suspense and pace, so finely tuned for making the reader want to know what happens next, that I kept reading it even though I had figured out early in the story “whodunit.” The only slow parts related to shopping. (I find shopping tedious in real life, but if a reader liked to shop or to fantasize about being rich and able to shop, these scenes might be enjoyable.)


Minor subplot spoiler: I’ve read a few too many mysteries in which the female amateur sleuth gets romantically involved with the attractive, available male cop on the case. Nonetheless, I’m impressed with the realism of Levinson’s handling of the relationship. And I liked the fact that the protagonist is fifty-eight, secure, confident, and physically fit and active, a refreshing change of pace from the typical cozy heroine.


If you like mysteries that focus more on character than gore and violent crime, appreciate a genuinely strong female lead, and would like to spend a little time among the very well off, you’ll enjoy this book.