Twenty-Five Years Ago Today
Review: Budding reporter Kris Langley reopens a 25-year-old unsolved murder investigation in Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, a mystery debut by Stacy Juba.
Kris is writing obituaries, press releases, and any other odds-and-ends assignment left on her desk for the newspaper of the small Massachusetts town of Fremont. Her primary task, though is to come up with the daily "25 and 50 Years Ago Today" column that is included with each edition of the paper. While researching the archives, she comes across an unsolved murder mystery that might be of interest. But she's reluctant to use it, as she has a murder in her own family, one that was solved from a legal perspective, but is unresolved in her own head. Believing that solving a crime from the past may help her deal with her own issues, she prints the story, opening long closed wounds in the community, and unwittingly putting her own life at risk.
Whether intended or not isn't clear, but Twenty-Five Years Ago Today has a claustrophobic, at times overwhelmingly so, feel to it. The small town, close confines of the newsroom, even Kris's constant introspection, all contribute to this impression. The author does a credible job conveying what it must be like to be the new employee in the newsroom, Kris's ambition to prove her value and worth to the organization, and later her amateur sleuthing. The cold case news item gambit may not be the most original choice here to set up the mystery, but the whodunit elements of the story are well done. As is Kris's desire to come to closure with the murder of her cousin (though some readers may find too much of the narrative dwells on this aspect of the story). Incorporating Greek mythology is an unexpected, and somewhat surprisingly relevant, angle. Overall, Twenty-Five Years Ago Today is an interesting mystery, and if the first in a series, serves as a solid introduction to the character of Kris Langley.
Acknowledgment: Stacy Juba provided a copy of Twenty-Five Years Ago Today for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Twenty-Five Years Ago Today: Massachusetts
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Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba
Publisher: Mainly Murder Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2009
List Price: $14.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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