Tooth for a Tooth
An Andy Gilchrist Mystery by T. Frank Muir
Review: Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Gilchrist of the St. Andrews, Scotland Constabulary is attending the memorial service for his ex-wife when he is called away to investigate the sighting of bones and decaying clothing in a shallow grave in another cemetery, in Tooth for a Tooth, the third mystery in this series by T. Frank Muir.
The bones are that of a young woman, possibly twenty years old, maybe even a bit younger. Her skull had been fractured. The ragged jacket found wrapped around the skeleton is identified as belonging to Gilchrist's brother, Jack, who had been killed by a hit-and-run driver thirty five years ago, when he was just twenty years old. The driver was never found. Also found is a lighter with the initials JG, which Gilchrist recognizes as belonging to Jack, an item he then pockets. Jack had been in love with a girl named Kelly, who had disappeared shortly before Jack was killed. Could Jack have possibly killed Kelly and then deliberately walk out in front of an oncoming car?
In his search for the truth he is confronted by Gina Belli, a psychic detective, who warns him that his life could be now be in danger. Though he doesn't necessarily believe in psychics, he turns over the lighter to her … just in case. And then another piece of evidence turns up: When Jack's jacket was examined, although it was barely recognized as a piece of clothing the pocket was intact and inside was a piece of silver foil from a chewing gum wrapper wrapped around a human tooth, which as it turned out to be Jack's, having been knocked out in an accident during a soccer game. When another detective, DI Walter "Tosh" MacIntosh, learns of the "missing" lighter he demands that Gilchrist return it to the evidence room. When Gilchrist refuses, Tosh accuses him of the illegal removal of evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation and notifies their superiors, who remove Gilchrist from the case. Gilchrist is not deterred, however, and with the inside help of a few of his trusted friends on the force, he continues to investigate. He knows Tosh is out to place the guilt of Kelly's death on Jack, but Gilchrist believes his brother to be innocent. And with the body now discovered, Gilchrist is at the mercy of whoever did kill Kelly. He has to find the killer before the killer finds him.
Tooth for a Tooth is far more than just a police procedural-style crime novel. It is also a very poignant story of family and friends, confidence and envy, love and hate. The murder mystery storyline is a compelling one, but it is really the central character of Andy Gilchrist that makes such a difference here. Highly recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Tooth for a Tooth.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Tooth for a Tooth for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Hand for a Hand
Soho Crime (Hardcover), November 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616951818; ISBN-10: 1616951818
Location(s) referenced in Tooth for a Tooth: Scotland
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Tooth for a Tooth by T. Frank Muir — An Andy Gilchrist Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: November 2013
List Price: $26.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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