cover image No Stone Unturned: An Ellie Stone Mystery

No Stone Unturned: An Ellie Stone Mystery

James W. Ziskin. Prometheus/Seventh Street, $15.95 trade paper (275p) ISBN 978-1-61614-883-6

In Ziskin’s taut second Ellie Stone mystery (after 2013’s Styx and Stone), the reporter looks into the murder of Jordan Shaw, a college girl seen having multiple assignations at the Mohawk Motel before her body was discovered half-buried in the woods outside New Holland, N.Y. The townspeople can’t decide which shocks them more: the murder, or the fact that Jordan, their golden girl, had a decidedly un-golden reputation. Ellie, meanwhile, sees Jordan’s death as an opportunity to prove her worth as a journalist. Jordan’s posse of ex-boyfriends, lovers, and suitors descend on Ellie, stalking her, assaulting her, cutting her car brakes, and derailing her investigation. While most of the characters are mere caricatures (including students Prakash Singh and Hakim Mohammed, who serve as ham-fisted symbols of the Indo-Pakistani conflict), Ellie keeps the reader’s attention throughout, as her mask of cool competence and roguish charm slowly falls away to reveal her all-consuming ambition. Agent: William Reiss, John Hawkins & Associates. (June)