Murder with Strings Attached
Murder with Strings Attached
by Mark Reutlinger
GENRE: Suspense/Mystery, Humor
Sometimes even the most carefully conceived burglary can take an unexpected turn. Florence Palmer has her eye on concert violinist Aaron Levy's priceless violin. Unfortunately, she finds it's already been stolen. Her surprise doubles when the virtuoso she'd planned to burgle offers to hire her to help him steal it back. But they're not the only ones looking for the missing violin. When Flo inadvertently becomes the prime suspect in a case of murder, she and Aaron need to clear her name. Will they find the real killer and get the violin back to its rightful owner without anyone else, especially themselves, being killed?
Passing the front desk on my way to the elevator, I wanted to avoid eye contact with any of the clerks on duty. But, like Lot’s wife, I couldn’t resist just a peek. Unfortunately, one of the check-in clerks, an older woman with gray hair pulled back into a tight bun, happened to be looking in my direction and our eyes met.
The woman immediately called to me, “Miss, would you please step over here?”
I returned a mimed “Who, me?” gesture. The bun lady nodded in the affirmative.
Damn, that’s all I need, I berated myself. I just had to look, didn’t I? But I knew I now had no choice but to comply. I walked over slowly as I tried frantically to think of answers, having no idea what the questions might be. Would I be asked who I was and what I was doing here? If so, would my answers be credible? When I reached the desk I tried to act nonchalant.
The bun lady said, “Just a moment, please,” and reached under the desk.
Totally irrationally it flashed through my mind that the woman was going to pull out a pistol and place me under arrest. Good thing I’d just peed, or I’d probably have done it now. It’s amazing what tricks a guilty conscience can play on you. What she actually pulled out, however, was a stack of letters. She handed them to me and, motioning toward a mail box mounted on the far wall, said, “Would you be a dear and drop these in the box over there?”
I accepted the letters and the assignment with relief. “Certainly, ma’am. No problem.”
I marched directly over to the mail box and deposited the letters. I then continued on my way to the service elevator, this time resisting any urge to look anywhere but straight ahead.
I was provided a copy of this book for the purpose of review, The thoughts herein are my own.
Florence 'Flo' Palmer is intent on stealing a highly valued violin. There's a small hiccup in her plan as the owner of the violin catches her in the act. Rather than run from the situation, Flo decides to make the best of the situation by talking to the owner, hoping he will simply forgive her error in judgment. Turns out the violin she was attempting to steal was not the real deal but rather a copy. The real violin had already been stolen. After some conversation, the violinist convinces Flo to help him steal the original violin back.
The book is well written and held my attention from the very beginning. I enjoyed each of the little twists in the story. If there is any criticism that can be given regarding the story would be the fact that a famous concert violinist is someone who seems to have an endless supply of money.
I can say that I truly enjoyed the book overall.
About the Author:
MARK REUTLINGER is an attorney and former law professor. He now writes novels in which the law is frequently broken, including his “Mrs. Kaplan” cozy mystery series (MRS. KAPLAN AND THE MATZOH BALL OF DEATH and A PAIN IN THE TUCHIS) and the political thrillers MADE IN CHINA and SISTER-IN-LAW: VIOLATION, SEDUCTION, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (under the pen name M. R. Morgan). MURDER WITH STRINGS ATTACHED is his latest novel. He is also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.
Mark and his wife Analee live in University Place, Washington, where in addition to reading and writing he plays clarinet with the Tacoma Concert Band and enjoys tennis, biking, exotic cars, model railroading, and various arts and crafts. He has no idea where he finds the time for it all.
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