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A Jane Kelly Mystery by Nancy Bush

UltraViolet by Nancy Bush

Review: Jane Kelly gets involved in all sorts of mayhem in Nancy Bush's breezy third mystery featuring the Oregon private investigator, UltraViolet.

Jane's primary case has her investigating whether Violet Purcell, the "UltraViolet" in the book's title, murdered her ex-husband and if she did not, who did. The murder weapon: a silver serving tray that was a gift to her daughter who just happened to be getting married on the fateful day. Violet doesn't deny hitting him with the tray during an argument though she insists he was alive and well when she left. Most of the wedding guests are potential suspects leaving Jane to determine who had the greatest motive to murder the father of the bride.

UltraViolet is certainly entertaining but, at well over 350 pages, it is far too long. Part of the problem here is an astonishing amount of repetition of facts. In the first chapter, for example, the reader is informed no less than 10 times that Jane's employer Dwayne has had an accident and his broken leg is in a cast. Unless the author is concerned about readers skimming through the pages, it's unnecessary to be so repetitive. Having Dwayne be a semi-invalid, however, allows Bush to fill more space in the book by introducing a second Hitchcockian plot involving mysterious happenings across the bay. In some ways, and probably ironically, this subplot is more interesting than the whodunit at the wedding.

Despite Jane's nearly constant activity (she seems to burn more calories in a day than most people do in a week), the author keeps the story briskly moving forward. Bush is adept at misdirection and as the number of suspects dwindles in the waning pages, it's still something of a surprise to find out who killed Violet's ex. And that's probably the most important part of a mystery, to keep the reader guessing until the very end.

Acknowledgment: Nancy Berland Public Relations provided a copy of UltraViolet for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Unseen by Nancy BushUnseen
Zebra (Mass Market Paperback), April 2009
ISBN-13: 9781420103403; ISBN-10: 1420103407

Location(s) referenced in UltraViolet: Oregon

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UltraViolet by Nancy Bush

UltraViolet by A Jane Kelly Mystery

Publisher: Kensington Books
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-7582-0909-2
Publication Date:
List Price: $19.95

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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