cover image Written Off

Written Off

E.J. Copperman. Crooked Lane, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-62953-599-9

A fictional character comes to life in this entertaining series launch from Copperman (Ghost in the Wind). Novelist Rachel Goldman is starting revisions on her fifth mystery featuring Duffy Madison, consultant to a New Jersey prosecutor’s office, when she receives a call from a man claiming to be Duffy Madison, consultant to a different New Jersey prosecutor’s office. He insists he’s never read Rachel’s books, but Duffy talks, thinks, and acts just like the character and claims to have no memories predating the publication of Rachel’s first book. His call raises more urgent concerns than his sanity, however. A mystery novelist of Rachel’s acquaintance has been reported missing, and the police believe her disappearance is linked to the murders of three other writers. Rachel’s funny, self-deprecating voice effectively carries the implausible premise, and insights into a writer’s daily life add verisimilitude. Likable supporting characters and the continuing mystery of Duffy’s existence should hook readers who can overlook significant plot gaps and a far-fetched resolution. (June)