cover image Wanting Sheila Dead: A Gregor Demarkian Novel

Wanting Sheila Dead: A Gregor Demarkian Novel

Jane Haddam, Minotaur, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-38087-8

Edgar-finalist Haddam craftily leaves major clues in plain sight in her outstanding 25th mystery featuring Armenian-American detective Gregor Demarkian (after 2009's Living Witness). Demarkian, who's recently returned home to Philadelphia from his honeymoon, gets involved in two cases: the possible poisoning of a reclusive elderly neighbor and the attempted murder of repellent Sheila Dunham, the moving force behind a top-rated TV reality show, America's Next Superstar. When an unknown young woman, who's not a show contestant, tries to shoot Dunham as Dunham prepares to choose finalists for a contest from a pool of 30, Dunham's personal assistant calls in Demarkian. The puzzle deepens when a murder occurs on the very spot where Demarkian's father-in-law was killed years earlier. Haddam has few peers at misdirection, and she cleverly satirizes the reality show industry while continuing to add depth to the relationship between her lead and his wife, Bennis. Fair-play fans will be delighted by Demarkian's insights into Agatha Christie's work. (Aug.)