Monday, July 18, 2016

The Past's Long Shadows: Trophies and Dead Things, by Marcia Muller

     Marcia Muller. Trophies and Dead Things (1990) Sharon McCone tracks a serial killer who’s randomly picking off people, including Perry Hilderley,  a client of Hank’s, colleague and lawyer at the All Souls Legal Cooperative. She solves that one, but the case isn’t over yet. Hilderley has left his fortune to four people whose connections to him and each other are obscure. McCone solves that one, too, but not without two more deaths. Muller likes stories in which the past’s long shadows darken the lives of the more or less innocent young. Here, it’s the anti-Vietnam War protest movement of the 60s. Multiple betrayals and confused motives messed up lives back then; unfinished business prompts some people to lethal action now.
     A plausible plot with not overly-TV’ed characters. The story moves at a leisurely pace. The back-stories of the All Souls characters advance a few steps. A couple of kittens appear here and there, and end up at McCone’s place. Love hurts are healed, somewhat. There’s no mention of fees, especially McCone’s, ever being paid. Well done entertainment, a cut or two above the average for the female PI genre. **½

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