Review: A visiting lecturer at a small college in Pennsylvania gets involved in the search for a killer in The Sixes, a suspense novel by Kate White.
Phoebe Hall was riding high as the bestselling author of a number of tell-all celebrity books when a charge of plagiarism causes her publisher to put her future books on hold. A close friend, Glenda Johns, now the President of Lyle College, offers her a temporary position on the staff, teaching a couple of classes. Eager for a change of scenery, Phoebe readily agrees. When a student goes missing, and is later found drowned, Glenda asks Phoebe to get involved in the on-campus investigation, but while she's at it to also learn what she can about a secret society that may exist, a group known only by their signature, the number 6.
The premise is fine here: a secret society that exists in a small rural college that may or may not be involved in murder. Phoebe says as much early on in conversation with a colleague: "Lily's death might not be connected to [the Sixes], but Glenda wants me to look into the group regardless. As you said, it's a problem in its own right." As a potential movie-of-the-week, the storyline may work given the right casting and visuals. But as a suspense novel, the primary problem is that the secret society is never portrayed as anything but an illicit campus organization, and hardly a menacing one at that. And all the misdirection that is thrown its way doesn't amount to much. To its credit, the book is fast-reading and doesn't stray too far from Phoebe's amateur sleuthing, but given the rather lame motive for the murder and how it is resolved in the end, it's all a little less than memorable.
Acknowledgment: Authors on the Web provided an ARC of The Sixes for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Harper (Hardcover), March 2010
ISBN-13: 9780061576614; ISBN-10: 0061576611
Location(s) referenced in The Sixes: Pennsylvania
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The Sixes by Kate White
Publication Date: August 2011
List Price: $24.99