cover image THE DANGEROUS HOUR: A Sharon McCone Mystery

THE DANGEROUS HOUR: A Sharon McCone Mystery

Marcia Muller, . . Mysterious, $25 (290pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-804-6

In Muller's 23rd page-turner about scrappy, smart PI Sharon McCone (Dead Midnight , etc.), McCone now heads her own firm, McCone Investigations, a successful, established agency with a growing staff and more work than they can keep up with. But someone from her past would like to see her fail and is willing to take out her close associates to do so. When Julia Rafael, a young investigator whom McCone decided to take on despite her checkered youth, is accused of stealing the credit card of Supervisor Alex Aguilar, the man being groomed to be San Francisco's first Hispanic mayor, the criminal investigation could have dire implications for McCone Investigations. McCone's initial doubts about her employee quickly give way to a determination to discover who's trying to sabotage her company. Muller has a knack for painting a full picture of McCone's life without getting too cutesy (even when discussing cat health care), and readers with a taste for romance will enjoy the direction her relationship with the dashing Hy Ripinsky is taking. While the plot is a bit by-the-book and the high-stakes confrontations could be more compelling, fans should be well satisfied. Agent, Molly Friedrich. Mystery Guild Main Selection. (July 28)

FYI: Muller has received an Anthony Boucher Award (for Wolf in the Shadows) and the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award.