A Specter of Justice: A Sam Blackman Mystery

Mark de Castrique. Poisoned Pen, $26.95 (252p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0474-6

In de Castrique’s lively fifth Sam Blackman mystery (after 2013’s A Murder in Passing), Sam helps organize a ghost tour of Asheville, N.C., to raise money for the two orphaned children of a client, Helen Atwood, after Helen’s abusive husband murders her. When Sam finds one of the actors in the ghost tour hanging from a noose on a bridge, he quickly transforms from volunteer tour guide to investigator. Later, after more actors start dying, suspicion for the deaths falls on Sam’s employer, DA Hewitt Donaldson. Little seems to be at stake in the languidly paced investigation, despite the high body count, but the complex relationship between Sam, a man dedicated to bringing criminals to justice, and Hewitt, a lawyer often willing to bend the law to save his clients from jail, will keep readers turning the pages. [em]Agent: Linda Allen, Linda Allen Literary Agency. (Nov.) [/em]