A Jane Whitefield Mystery by Thomas Perry
Review: Jane Whitefield's talent for making people disappear hits a snag when she's taken prisoner herself and held, not for ransom, but for auction to the highest bidder, in Poison Flower, the seventh mystery in this series by Thomas Perry.
James Shelby has been wrongly convicted of killing his wife. The real killer set him up and is now planning on having him killed so that the case is permanently closed. Shelby's sister, however, has enlisted the aid of Jane, who devises a clever scheme to allow Shelby's escape from prison but is, unfortunately, caught by the very men who were sent to kill him. The men quickly realize that she's a pro at what she does and conclude there may be other "victims" of her talent, who would be willing to pay a large sum of money to have the opportunity to talk to her in person. But before that happens, Jane escapes her captors … but is not home free. Wealthy men with unlimited resources are after her and she must stop them before they find her.
What she did was illegal — buying or making false identities; obtaining and carrying unlicensed guns; operating imaginary companies to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering. … The service she offered was to put herself between killers and their victims.
It's hard not to admire Jane Whitefield as a character. She draws her strength through her Seneca heritage and "a kind of idiosyncratic public-spiritedness." At times she seems super-human, but she's self-aware, someone who knows her strengths and weaknesses, one who can and does make mistakes, grounding her in a reality that is nearly ideal for crime fiction. The James Shelby-storyline in Poison Flower is fairly routine and not all that exciting but it does move along quickly … though the "Jane Whitefield auction" is an interesting twist. The final third, however, is far more dramatic, as Jane sets into motion her plans to capture her former captors, and make sure the authorities have all the evidence they need to exonerate Shelby.
It isn't clear if the author intends to continue this series after this book or not. It ends on a somewhat poignant note, one that could serve as a most appropriate closing chapter to the series as a whole.
Acknowledgment: Mysterious Press provided an ARC of Poison Flower for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Hardcover), May 2011
ISBN-13: 9780547569338; ISBN-10: 0547569335
The Book of the Lion
Mysterious Press (Ebook), July 2015
ISBN-13: 9781497649934; ISBN-10: 1497649935
Location(s) referenced in Poison Flower: Los Angeles, California; New York State; Las Vegas, Nevada
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Poison Flower by Thomas Perry — A Jane Whitefield Mystery
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Publication Date: March 2012
List Price: $24.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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