cover image The Lady in the Silver Cloud: A Stewart Hoag Mystery

The Lady in the Silver Cloud: A Stewart Hoag Mystery

David Handler. Mysterious, $25.95 (280p) ISBN 978-1-61316-291-0

Set in 1993, Edgar winner Handler’s quaint 13th Stewart Hoag mystery (after 2021’s The Man Who Wasn’t All There) finds ghostwriter Stewart and his dog, Lulu, temporarily living in the luxury apartment on Central Park West owned by his accommodating ex-wife, Merilee Nash, a “gorgeous blonde Oscar and Tony Award–winning actress.” When Merilee’s neighbor, Muriel Cantrell, “an exquisitely delicate, silver-haired lady in her early ’70s,” is found dead in a stairwell of the building after a Halloween party, Stewart and Lulu join Lt. Romaine Very of the NYPD to investigate. Eccentric suspects include a ruthless corporate raider, a Park Avenue socialite who dabbles in fashion design, a composer who aspires to being the next Stephen Sondheim, lawyers with mob connections, and a former cigarette girl at a swanky nightclub. Muriel, meanwhile, turns out not to have been the wealthy widow she seemed. Stewart’s mildly charming narration makes up only in part for an obvious resolution that’s followed by his telling all sorts of people whodunit yet again. Those already invested in Stewart and friends will best appreciate this outing. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Feb.)