Marry in Haste: An Endurance Mystery

Susan Van Kirk. Five Star, $25.95 (280p) ISBN 978-1-4328-3233-9
Retired school teacher Grace Kimball tracks two mysteries, one current and one dating to the late 19th century, in Van Kirk’s slowly developing second whodunit set in Endurance, Ill. (after 2014’s Three May Keep a Secret). Soon after Grace’s romantic interest, editor Jeff Maitlin, visits banker Conrad Folger about a loan to buy the old Lockwood mansion, someone slashes Conrad’s throat in his bedroom. Conrad’s wife, Emily, who slept in her own room, becomes the prime suspect. Grace is sure that Emily, a former student, couldn’t have committed the murder and implores police detective TJ Sweeney, another former student, to explore other possible suspects. Meanwhile, Grace and Jeff discover the 1893 diary of Olivia Havilock Lockwood in the Lockwood mansion, finding striking parallels between the lives and abusive marriages of Olivia and Emily. Excerpts from Olivia’s diary build to an explanation of the death of her husband, a judge, and Grace’s persistent snooping forces a murderer’s hand in a lumbering tale that suggests only death can end an abusive relationship. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/19/2016
Release date: 11/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
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