cover image Starr Sign: The Candace Starr Series

Starr Sign: The Candace Starr Series

C.S. O’Cinneide. Dundurn, $17.99 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-1-4597-4487-5

Early in Canadian author O’Cinneide’s enjoyable sequel to 2020’s The Starr Sting Scale, irreverent and amoral Candace Starr, a former contract killer, gets a call from her homicide detective friend, Chien-Shiung Malone, asking her to come to the police station to identify the body of a woman who may be Angela Scarpello, Candace’s mother, though Candace wonders why Malone thinks this is possible given that she hasn’t seen the woman since she was a toddler. At the station, Candace is surprised to meet her 13-year-old half sister she didn’t know existed, Janet. DNA on the dead woman, who turns out to have been a nurse present at Candace’s birth who was murdered and put in a freezer for 30 years, matches Angela’s. With Janet in tow, Candace sets off for Detroit, Angela’s last known location and home of the Scarpello Mafia clan, in search of their mother. Candace needs to know why, after decades of estrangement, Angela was in contact with the family. Could it have to do with the selection of the clan’s ruthless new don? Candace’s wryly amusing take on events is perfectly balanced with scenes of chilling action. Fans of Lawrence Block’s burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr will have fun. (Apr.)