The Lavendar Lane Lothario
A Berger and Mitry Mystery by David Handler
Review: Film critic Mitch Berger and Connecticut State Trooper Desiree Mitry, the "crime fighting duo" of their hometown of Dorset (Connecticut) have another murder to solve, in The Lavender Lane Lothario, the eleventh mystery in this series by David Handler.
Sherm Gant, a most hateful man, owns the The Pit, a local bar, which has now burned to the ground, taking the life of Hubie Swope, Dorset's building inspector. An autopsy reveals that he had been assaulted before being dumped in the bar, which itself was intentionally set on fire. Swope was going to close down The Pit for code violations; the upgrade costs would have bankrupted Gant. Naturally, Gant is the prime suspect in Swope's murder. But Gant isn't the only man to have crossed with Swope recently. Gaylord Holland, a respected developer, had been blocked by Swope from building a number of expensive — and profitable — homes in the area. Berger and Mitry learn that Swope, a widower, lived alone in a little house on Lavender Lane, didn't socialize much, and according to neighbors, didn't seem to have any friends. But when Swope's phone records are analyzed, the authorities are shocked to discover that he was apparently carrying on affairs with four women, a couple of them married, and on which he had spent thousands of dollars. Indeed, he was nearly broke at the time of his death. Berger and Mitry add the four women, and spouses where appropriate, to the growing list of people, who might have had a reason to see Swope dead. Alibis are provided for each, checked and cross-checked, and one by one everyone on their list gets crossed out. Then who hated Swope enough to attack and kill him?
The murder case in The Lavender Lane Lothario is an intriguing one and seems to suit Berger and Mitry well. The cast of suspects are all credible and the character of the dead man, Hubie Swope, rather unique in terms of contrast. It's pleasant reading, with a number of humorous elements to keep things on the lighter side, and overall a solid entry in this entertaining series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Lavendar Lane Lothario.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of The Lavendar Lane Lothario for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Coal Black Asphalt Tomb
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), March 2014
ISBN-13: 9781250041975; ISBN-10: 125004197X
Location(s) referenced in The Lavendar Lane Lothario: Connecticut
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The Lavendar Lane Lothario by David Handler — A Berger and Mitry Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: February 2016
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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