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The Color of Light

A Maggie MacGowen Mystery by Wendy Hornsby

The Color of Light by Wendy Hornsby

Review: TV reporter/filmmaker Maggie MacGowen has returned to her home in Berkeley, California to clear out her father's possessions after his death, a job her mother did not want to undertake. While emptying the drawers, Maggie finds an old film her father had taken of her with her friends as they were on their way to school. She also finds a Polaroid shot of Trinh (Tina) Bartolini, the mother of one of her friends, who was brutally killed on the same day the film was made … thirty years ago. As she continued clearing out the desk, Maggie wonders if there are any clues there that would help solve the open case of Trinh's murder, in The Color of Light, the ninth mystery in this series by Wendy Hornsby.

Her high school boyfriend, now Detective Kevin Halloran, had recently reopened the cold case of Mrs. Bartolini's death at the request of her son, Beno, an old classmate of theirs. Maggie decides to try to unearth some information about Trinh's youthful days in Vietnam, plus her exploits and achievements after she arrived in Berkeley. She is assisted in this endeavor by her current boyfriend, French diplomat Jean-Paul Bernard, and her extraordinary uncle and agent, Max MacGowen. When Maggie begins to question some of her neighbors and friends to see if they remember the murder, she soon realizes something she had never known before: many resented Trinh, mostly because she was Vietnamese. Perhaps they had a family member or maybe loved one who was serving in the army in Vietnam in the 70s. At any rate no one wants to talk about Tinh's death; indeed they do not care if the truth ever comes out. Kevin, Maggie, John-Paul and Max probe every bit of information that becomes available and still parts of the mystery are missing. How will the cold case be closed if no one is willing to talk?

The Color of Light effortlessly moves between the present and past, weaving a complex tale that draws the reader in. The characters are all well drawn, so much so that any of them could easily be friends and neighbors in real life. The puzzle-like storyline, with its bits and pieces coming in dribs and drabs, makes it seem like a picture of what happened that day long ago will never emerge. A fine mystery overall in a series that continues to reward readers with multi-layered plots and a cast of engaging characters.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Color of Light.

Acknowledgment: Perseverance Press provided a copy of The Color of Light for this review.

Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: The Hanging by Wendy HornsbyThe Hanging
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback), September 2012
ISBN-13: 9781564745262; ISBN-10: 1564745260

Mystery Book Review: Disturbing the Dark by Wendy HornsbyDisturbing the Dark
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback), March 2016
ISBN-13: 9781564745767; ISBN-10: 1564745767

Location(s) referenced in The Color of Light: California

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The Color of Light by Wendy Hornsby

The Color of Light by A Maggie MacGowen Mystery

Publisher: Perseverance Press
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-56474-542-2
Publication Date:
List Price: $15.95

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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