New York, 1946. Lillian Pentecost is the most successful private detective in the city, but her health is failing. She hires an assistant to help with the investigative legwork. Willowjean Parker is a circus runaway. Quick-witted and street-smart, she’s a jack-of-all-trades with a unique skill-set. She can pick locks blindfolded, wrestle men twice her size, and throw knives with deadly precision – all of which come in handy working for Ms P.
When wealthy young widow Abigail Collins is murdered and the police are making no progress, Pentecost and Parker are hired by the family to track down the culprit. On Halloween night, there was a costume party at the Collins’ mansion, where a fortune teller performed a séance which greatly disturbed Abigail. Several hours later her body was discovered bludgeoned to death in her late husband’s office. Problem is, the door to the office was locked from the inside. There was no-one else in the room, and the murder weapon was beside the victim; the fortune teller’s crystal ball.
It looks like an impossible crime, but Pentecost and Parker know there is no such thing.
Catching up on last years reads still in waiting, I came across this little beauty and went with it…
Fortune Favours The Dead is so much fun to read, with some excellent characters you’ll absolutely adore, a Christie-esque locked room mystery and an adventurous feel that is utterly compelling.
Meet ex circus lass Will Parker and her boss the better-than-Miss-Marple Lillian Pentecost, Private Detective extraordinaire. Often the bane of the police and much in demand, even they may not be ready for the twists and turns surrounding the death of Abigail Collins..
I fell into this one…the author has an excellent descriptive sense, bringing that period of history to life and forms his characters with many nuanced levels. You really do fall in love with them and the mystery element is intelligent and unpredictable. It’s one of those you do that “just one more chapter” thing with that tends to leave you bleary eyed.
I loved it. A real classic feel and a proper old school mystery with terrific writing. What’s not to love?