cover image Best Served Cold: A DCI Monika Paniatowski Mystery

Best Served Cold: A DCI Monika Paniatowski Mystery

Sally Spencer. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8507-4

The Whitebridge Players resurrect themselves for a revival of Thomas Kyd’s play The Spanish Tragedy—20 years after their last performance and the closing of the local theater—in Spencer’s dark ninth Monica Paniatowski mystery (after 2014’s Supping with the Devil). One of the troupe’s members, Mark Cotton, is now a highly paid TV actor, playing a detective chief inspector of all things, while a second, Sarah Audley, is poised to do the same and wants to model her character after Monika. When one of the leads is murdered on opening night, there’s no shortage of suspects and a demand from the powers-that-be to solve the case quickly. Despite her own reservations and those of her colleagues, Monika is determined to see the case through to the bitter end as egos, lust, betrayals (old and new), and hidden motives abound. Spencer hits the mark once again with a murky, engaging plot and a cadre of quirky, troubled characters. (Aug.)