Book Review: Secrets, Lies, and Homicide by: Patricia Dusenbury

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Uncial Press

Publication Date: September 12, 2014

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: Claire Marshall’s construction company has a celebrity client. Tony Burke is a well-known racecar driver, perhaps better known for his romantic exploits. He wants to restore his family house in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District. When Claire talks him into opening his father’s old studio, they find evidence of an old murder. Within a day, there’s a second murder.

Tony insists the two crimes, although years apart, are connected. Unfortunately, the most obvious link puts him on top of the list of  suspects. Claire wants the motive to lie elsewhere, and it might. The latest victim had no shortage of enemies.

Claire is a widow just beginning to re-enter the world of dating. She's been seeing a homicide detective, but as the investigation progresses, her sympathies lie more and more with the chief suspect. Thirty-four-years-old and she has finally met the man her mother warned her against. 

Review: Claire Marshall’s restoration/construction company has been hired to restore a New Orleans home to its former glory. It’s the childhood home of Tony Burke, a famous race car driver with a haunted past. His father died when he was young and his mother is a bit eccentric to say the least. When Claire learns Tony’s father was an artist, she convinces him the old studio needs to be opened and restored. She’s also sure there may be some of his art there, which they could use in the redecoration once the restoration is complete.

They get an unexpected shock when they open the studio and find a skeleton showing obvious signs of trauma. A day later, there is another murder and this time Tony is a person of interest – the only one, in fact. Yet it seems to Claire both murders are related and the answers to the current murder lie in the truth of the past one. As Tony and Claire investigate and grow closer, there are those who feel they are too close to the truth, which puts them squarely in the sights of the killer.

SECRETS, LIES AND HOMICIDE is the second in the Claire Marshall Mystery series. Claire finds herself ensnared in another mystery after barely enough time has passed for her to recover from her previous ordeal. Claire’s also very drawn to her new client, Tony Burke, and believes in his innocence. The mystery itself was well done and while not totally surprised at the killer’s identity, the story is well-crafted. I liked how the attraction between Claire and Tony unfolded and it made a good counterpoint from the grisly main story. SECRETS, LIES AND HOMICIDE is a solid mystery and which will appeal to many readers.

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