cover image Cold Smoked: A Jane Da Silva Mystery

Cold Smoked: A Jane Da Silva Mystery

K. K. Beck. Mysterious Press, $18.95 (294pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-537-3

As readers familiar with her first three appearances know, Seattle's Jane da Silva (A Hopeless Case) is the beneficiary of a loopy trust: she gets money from her uncle's estate as long as she solves crimes for people who can't afford to hire a PI. Once through the slow opening chapters, readers will hook onto a sharp-witted puzzler with an abundance of red herrings (and salmon and cod) that will keep them guessing to the last page. Having taken a gig as a lounge singer in a tacky local hotel, Jane is entertaining a group from the salmon industry, in town for the international seafood show, when the earnest young reporter for Seafood Now bursts into the room screaming that there's a dead woman in her bathtub. Jane's subsequent investigation takes her to Norway and the Shetland Islands. Throughout, Jane remains good-natured while enjoying the absurdity around her as Beck offers a worldly tour of the fishing industry and environmental shenanigans before concluding this solid work with an unexpected, gleefully cynical climax. (July)