cover image THE BURNT ORANGE SUNRISE: A Berger and Mitry Mystery

THE BURNT ORANGE SUNRISE: A Berger and Mitry Mystery

David Handler, . . St. Martin's Minotaur/ Dunne, $23.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-312-30735-6

A severe winter storm and a house full of trapped guests, a murderer among them, test odd couple Mitch Berger and Des Mitry in their fourth agreeable outing (after 2003's The Bright Silver Star ). Berger, a white middle-aged syndicated movie critic, and Mitry, a homicide-toughened black cop now providing police service for the village of Dorset, Conn., attend a dinner party at Astrid's Castle, an inn run by Les Josephson and his wife, Norma, for Norma's 94-year-old mother, Ada Geiger. A reclusive pioneer film director, Ada is enjoying a revival of interest in her noir films. Berger's caustic views on modern movie-makers, celebrities and hangers-on add spice to the proceedings. A handful of other guests, including Ada's vitriolic grandson and his wife, complete the group that soon finds itself effectively cut off from the outside world by a fierce storm, which provides an awesome backdrop. The first death appears natural and unsurprising, but the second is obviously murder. Although Mitry takes charge, more deaths follow. Handler makes the most of his small cast of suspects as revelations suggest unsuspected connections, motives and opportunities. This is a cozy series with some meat on the bone. Agent, Dominick Abel. (Oct. 29)