A Maggie MacGowen Mystery by Wendy Hornsby
Review: Documentary filmmaker Maggie MacGowen is "between opportunities", as it were, and accepts an offer to teach a film production class at Anacapa Community College, northwest of Los Angeles. The job has a bonus: she'll get to see her surrogate son, Sly Miller, a boy she helped rescue from the streets ten years earlier, who is a student there. But when Sly is accused of murder, Maggie comes to his defense in The Hanging, the eighth mystery in this series by Wendy Hornsby.
Sly, now a sophomore at the college, has become quite an accomplished artist, recently winning an award for a sculpture that the college president, Park Holloway, has said will be installed permanently in the entrance to the new administration building. Until he changes his mind, saying he would prefer a "professional" piece be installed instead, one that would be better for the college's image. Furious, Sly threatens to kill Holloway, which would in any other circumstance simply be something said in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately, Holloway's body is soon thereafter found hanging in the very spot where Sly's sculpture was to be installed. Though Sly is the most obvious — and readily available — suspect, he's not alone: Holloway had made many enemies among the college's staff, cutting classroom budgets to pay for his own pet projects. Certain Sly had nothing to do with Holloway's murder, Maggie switches into investigative reporter mode to gather information from everyone involved in an effort to identify who the culprit is.
The Hanging is a multi-layered mystery. Not surprisingly, college politics play a large part in the story and contribute most of the potential motives and suspects to the primary storyline, but there is also the relationships Maggie, widowed less than a year, has with her friends and family, and most especially with Sly, a troubled youth who turned his life around with her help. It's all very well done, the result being a credibly plotted and most enjoyable mystery.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Hanging.
Acknowledgment: Perseverance Press provided a copy of The Hanging for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Paramour's Daughter
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback), September 2010
ISBN-13: 9781564744968; ISBN-10: 1564744965
The Color of Light
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback), March 2014
ISBN-13: 9781564745422; ISBN-10: 1564745422
Location(s) referenced in The Hanging: California, France
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The Hanging by Wendy Hornsby — A Maggie MacGowen Mystery
Publisher: Perseverance Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2012
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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