Friday, March 16, 2007

Novel: Locust Alley, Suspense in Wartime Richmond

Locust Alley, Don Evans, Wordsmith and Penn, 262 pp. 2000.

In this novel, all the parts are in place and the machine works pretty well. Wartime Richmond is captured in period detail: streets and building locations, interiors of hotels, prisons, and government offices, meals, clothes, smells, animals, etc. Characters are distinctive and memorable; the appearance of Lee and Stuart are a little distracting but they stay within character. The motives for crimes in question are well hidden but a bit outlandish; yet 'suspension of disbelief' is accepted because the background stories and the period detail works so well in the hands of a good writer. I bought this book for the historic location and was not disappointed. Also, as a mystery reader, I finished the last page thinking that I wouldn't mind seeing another with the same main character.

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