Always Kiss the Corpse on Whidbey Island
Review: Kyra Rachel and Noel Franklin of Island Investigations International are hired by a grieving mother to "Find my son," after she declares that the body of her supposedly dead son is not hers in Always Kiss the Corpse on Whidbey Island, the second mystery in this series by Sandy Frances Duncan and George Szanto.
Sandro Vasiliadis died of a heroin overdose. Or did he? At his open casket funeral, his mother, Maria, doesn't recognize the dead young man. Convinced it isn't her son — and drawing the conclusion that if he isn't dead, he must be alive — she hires Kyra and Noel to find him. But the case gets complicated quickly. If the dead man isn't Sandro, who is he? And why does everyone else believe it is Sandro's body, even the authorities, who are quick to officially determine the cause of death to be suicide. But could the overdose have been accidental … or even murder?
Nearly everything about Always Kiss the Corpse on Whidbey Island is intentionally ambiguous. Maria's assertion that Sandro is not Sandro, the premise of the Kyra's and Noel's investigation, is an early example. Is she referring to a physical appearance — which, nearly everyone acknowledges, has significantly changed recently — or has she convinced herself that Sandro would never be involved in drugs and would never commit suicide and therefore it can not, must not be him? The family members, friends and associates of Sandro are equally ambiguous — or evasive — in their answers to questions posed by Kyra and Noel. And then there's the subplot of sexual ambiguity that is introduced later. The authors keep the storyline narrowly focused on the investigation, but in order for the overall mystery to work, one has to buy into the initial premise that Sandro is Sandro but not Sandro — which some readers may find difficult to do. Still, it's hard not to enjoy following along with the engaging investigative duo and the beautifully depicted Pacific Northwest setting in which they work.
Acknowledgment: TouchWood Editions provided an ARC of Always Kiss the Corpse on Whidbey Island for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Never Sleep with a Suspect on Gabriola Island
TouchWood Editions (Trade Paperback), March 2009
ISBN-13: 9781894898898; ISBN-10: 1894898893
Never Hug a Mugger on Quadra Island
TouchWood Editions (Hardcover), September 2011
ISBN-13: 9781926971483; ISBN-10: 1926971485
Location(s) referenced in Always Kiss the Corpse on Whidbey Island: Vancouver, British Columbia
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Always Kiss the Corpse on Whidbey Island by Sandy Frances Duncan and George Szanto — An Islands Investigations International Mystery
Publisher: TouchWood Editions
Publication Date: October 2010
List Price: $24.95