cover image The Last Night Out

The Last Night Out

Catherine O’Connell. Severn, $28.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8800-6

Early one June morning in 1988, back when “Cher and people who lived in trailers were the only ones with tattoos,” Maggie Trueblood, the heroine of this superior mystery from O’Connell (Well Read and Dead), wakes up in bed with Steven, a carpenter she met at a Chicago nightclub after her boozy bachelorette party. She’s two weeks away from her extravagant wedding to a man her mother believes will be the ideal husband—rich, good-looking, and socially well connected. If that weren’t bad enough, Maggie gets a call from her friend Suzanne telling her that Angie, another pal from the party, has been murdered. As the big day approaches, a number of Maggie’s friends, including Suzanne, come under suspicion, as do their various husbands and consorts, and indeed Maggie herself. They all have something to hide, and each ends up lying to the police. The story sashays in some surprising directions before briskly pulling all the disparate threads together in a slam-bang finale. O’Connell tells this intricately plotted tale with verve. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary Agency. (Sept.)