cover image Base Notes

Base Notes

Lara Elena Donnelly. Thomas & Mercer, $15.95 trade paper (420p) ISBN 978-1-5420-3070-0

New York City perfumer Vic Fowler, the narrator of this clever standalone from Donnelly (the Amberlough Dossier series), has a somewhat less respectable sideline—murder for hire. To save his financially strapped perfume business, Vic accepts a contract from Joseph Eisner to kill the three partners in Eisner’s asset management company. A further condition is that before Vic disposes of the victims’ bodies, he must produce a fragrance that evokes a particular memory in Eisner, a task Vic has no idea if he can accomplish. Vic’s previous victim was Caroline Yates, whose death was ordered by her husband, a partner of Eisner and now one of Eisner’s intended targets. When an investigator comes to interview Vic about Caroline’s disappearance, Vic knows he can no longer do Eisner’s job himself without raising suspicion. He decides to find three other people to carry out the murders. Whom he picks and how he convinces them to do his bidding develops into a fascinating psychological drama. This intoxicating thriller keeps the reader guessing. With luck, Vic will be back for an encore. Agent: Caitlin McDonald, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Jan.)