The Shimmering Blond Sister
A Berger and Mitry Mystery by David Handler
Review: Film critic Mitch Berger comes to the defense of his on-again/off-again girlfriend, Connecticut State Trooper Desiree "Des" Mitry, when she's accused of killing a man she's convinced is the Dorset Flasher, in The Shimmering Blond Sister, the seventh mystery in this series by David Handler.
The Dorset Flasher had exposed himself to several elderly women in the Historic District of the town. He hadn't raped or assaulted anyone, nor committed any other crime. As Des puts it, he was "nothing more than a high-profile nuisance." But retired New York City police detective "and full-time pain in the butt" Augie Donatelli is determined to put a stop to it. Unfortunately, his actions put him in conflict with Des. A public confrontation between the two leads Des to believe Augie himself might be the flasher. No sooner does she set out to prove it when Augie is found dead, his head bashed in. Worse, Des is the one who finds the body. Mitch, meanwhile, is getting reacquainted with Beth Lapidus and her son, who lived in the apartment across the hall from him when he was a teenager. Taking advantage of Beth's new position among the elite of Dorset, Mitch begins his own inquiry into who might have wanted Augie dead.
The Shimmering Blond Sister is a mystery set in a village with a busybody solving a murder committed largely off stage; call it a not-quite-cozy or cozy-esque as the amateur sleuth is male and there's no cat to trip over or craft to add interest. The narrative flows easily, the mystery isn't demanding, and the largely cardboard cutout characters are comfortably familiar — all well and good for a pleasant afternoon turning the pages (or pushing the buttons, if read electronically). But the book's strengths are also its weaknesses; readers seeking something novel and exciting, or even a plot with a twist, are advised to look elsewhere. There's nothing new here, and while that's often enough for fans of a series, it may prove disappointing for others.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of The Shimmering Blond Sister for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Cold Blue Blood
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), October 2001
ISBN-13: 9780312280031; ISBN-10: 0312280033
The Blood Red Indian Summer
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), October 2011
ISBN-13: 9780312648350; ISBN-10: 0312648359
Location(s) referenced in The Shimmering Blond Sister: Connecticut
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The Shimmering Blond Sister by David Handler — A Berger and Mitry Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: October 2010
List Price: $24.99