cover image Death at the Sign of the Rook: A Jackson Brodie Book

Death at the Sign of the Rook: A Jackson Brodie Book

Kate Atkinson. Doubleday, $30 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-54799-4

Atkinson’s deliciously witty sixth adventure for Jackson Brodie (after Big Sky) finds the British PI entangled in a weekend-long murder mystery party. Brodie’s newest clients are Ian and Hazel Padgett, “pensionable-aged” siblings who have discovered, while divvying up their deceased mother’s possessions, that one of her oil paintings has gone missing. With the help of his friend, Det. Const. Reggie Chase, Brodie digs into the siblings’ suspicions that their mother’s caretaker, Melanie Hope, swiped the heirloom. Soon, Brodie and Chase’s investigation unearths art thefts linked to Burton Makepeace House, a crumbling mansion recently converted into a hotel and managed by the self-aggrandizing Piers Milton. Brodie and Chase head to Burton Makepeace and start poking around while an elaborate “Murder Mystery Weekend” event that Piers has organized is underway; before long, a snowstorm strands the duo with the participants and knocks out everyone’s cell reception. Atkinson keeps things fast, funny, and fair, delivering a twist-filled mystery that will stump armchair sleuths and a well-sketched supporting cast that’s easy to fall in love with. This is sure to delight series fans and newcomers alike. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, InkWell Management. (Sept.)