cover image Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point

Marcia Muller, . . Mysterious, $24.95 (323pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-805-3

MWA Grand Master Muller's richly layered 24th mystery to feature San Francisco PI Sharon McCone (after 2004's The Dangerous Hour ) reminds us how much McCone has grown since she started as the lone investigator at a poverty law center in her first outing, Edwin of the Iron Shoes (1977). McCone now heads a well-respected agency with a talented staff and a strong track record. She maintains solid friendships with former colleagues, works hard to keep up with her large and complicated family, and recently surprised herself by agreeing to marry her longtime sweetheart, corporate security whiz Hy Ripinsky. Muller nicely plays the joy of McCone's new marriage against two others at the center of the present case, slowly revealing their rotten core. The story takes readers on a charming tour through the fishing villages of the California coast, while the tight, crisp plot surges relentlessly forward. The tension between light and dark, between surface happiness and hidden truths, raises this novel well above the common run of whodunits. (July)