Monday, September 26, 2011

Hide & Seek: a Murder Mystery by Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield

Published by Kepler Press
Reviewed for Review The Book

An interesting telling of this murder mystery, this book is fun, like a game of Clue except we already know who the murderer is, who was murdered, how, why, and where. We know this because it happens very near the beginning of the book. Or do we? Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield has presented an interesting concept in writing this mystery. He has a descriptive way of writing, extending this to the several characters that are introduced later in the book. The reader needs to pay a lot of attention to wording. The mystery is complex, based on jealousy, greed, and unsavory lifestyle.

The story begins with a party hosted by David's Aunt Grace, where he meets a beautiful wraith of a girl, unsubstantial as air yet bewitching and willing. The girl is an actress, and they begin a relationship as mysterious as she is. Totally mesmerized by her, David becomes overcome with jealous thoughts whenever he is not with her. When she is killed, he is overtaken with guilt, grief and loss.

Aunt Grace and Dots, his sister, come up with a brilliant idea for a fascinating weekend... the Murder Mystery game being held on a small island off Cape Cod at an old courthouse converted to a Bed and Breakfast, which adds to the atmosphere of the book. Reluctant at first, he finally agrees to join in the fun. Shortly after arrival, there seems to be something more sinister afoot. David is shocked to find that one of the participants is the actual detective who was investigating the murder of Melanie Carson. Not only that, but when the "corpse", Marilyn Carpenter, is found, she is dressed exactly like Melanie was, right down to her silver blonde hair and Melanie's particular shade of lipstick. Even her nails are done the same. Who is playing mind games with David, and why? Is this a trap? When the roles were given out at the beginning of the game, he was designated as the murderer, his aunt designated as the detective. Who is the real detective? This is what David will have to find out as soon as possible.

Great characterization, a unique variation on the usual cozy murder mystery, surprises all through, psychological suspense and well-written. My attention was held throughout, my guesses all over the place. This book was fun and I'll be watching for more from this author.

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