cover image Glass Houses: A Gregor Demarkian Mystery

Glass Houses: A Gregor Demarkian Mystery

Jane Haddam, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95 (293pp) ISBN 978-0-312-34307-1

In the 22nd Gregor Demarkian book (after 2006's Hardscrabble Road ), Haddam as usual effortlessly melds a puzzling mystery—a baffling serial murder case in Philadelphia—with the latest developments in the romance between her FBI profiler hero and his longtime lover, Bennis Hannaford. The perpetrator, named the Plate Glass Killer, targets unattractive middle-aged women, leaving their bodies in alleys, their faces mutilated by glass. The body count has reached double digits by the time Gregor (known popularly as the Armenian-American Hercule Poirot) is consulted, and he finds that the official investigation is a mess due to hostility among the senior detectives. The resolution may be a tad far-fetched, but the intelligent, thoughtful prose elevates this twisty whodunit far above most other contemporary traditional mysteries. The author also deserves plaudits for making the long and complex Gregor-Bennis relationship accessible to first-time readers. (Apr.)