Hunting for Hemingway
Review: Chicago insurance investigator DD McGil is drawn into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the appearance of a set of unpublished manuscripts by Ernest Hemingway in Hunting for Hemingway, the second mystery in this series by Diane Gilbert Madsen.
DD is not surprised to hear from an old flame, especially one who shares her passion in rare literary artifacts. But her interest is really piqued when David Barnes tells her he has possession of a year's worth of unpublished works by Hemingway originals and carbons which were accidentally lost by his new wife in a Paris train station in 1922. David plans to auction off the lot, but is reluctant to show the collection to anyone, including DD. Though they have considerable historical value, they are not copyrighted and their real worth is in the publishing rights. Sample pages have been authenticated by an insurance company, and in a stroke of good luck for DD, she's hired to do a background search on both David and his unknown source. But before she can even begin, David is murdered, the manuscripts and their copies stolen. Now DD is a suspect she was the last known person to see David alive and she needs to find the lot to prove her innocence.
The compelling storyline of Hunting for Hemingway is its strongest selling point. Based on a real event the lost Hemingway manuscripts were never located the author weaves a creative murder mystery surrounding the known facts. (Madsen provides a brief historical background in an afterword, together with an extensive bibliography.) Details involving the potential sale of the manuscripts, how they are authenticated, the auction process, and the like, provide additional interest. What doesn't work quite as well is DD's personal life, more specifically her on-again/off-again romantic relationships, new and old. DD had lost her fiancι at the start of the previous book in this series, A Cadger's Curse, and Hunting for Hemingway opens somewhat awkwardly with her current boyfriend mysteriously missing, presumably under witness protection. With yet another boyfriend (David Barnes) out of the picture, it all just seems a little too tragicomic.
Following the conclusion of this book, Madsen gives readers a glimpse at the next in the series with the first few pages of The Conan Doyle Notes.
Acknowledgment: Lissy Peace and Associates provided a copy of Hunting for Hemingway for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author
A Cadger's Curse
Midnight Ink (Trade Paperback), November 2009
ISBN-13: 9780738718927; ISBN-10: 0738718920
Location(s) referenced in Hunting for Hemingway: Chicago, Illinois
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Hunting for Hemingway by Diane Gilbert Madsen A DD McGil Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2010
List Price: $14.95