Blood Mug


Kevin Densmore, a businessman and Wickham Art Center board chair, wants to meet with private detective Red Farlow regarding a recent murder. Red arrives at the Wickham mansion’s pottery studio only to find Densmore dead. Bodies begin to pile up, and Red discovers medieval daggers are the murder weapon of choice, not only for Densmore, but also for the others. Red delves into the history of the mansion, family disagreements from the past, and a Venezuelan businessman looking for misplaced money.  With the help of numerous friends that Red has collected during his years investigating, Red uncovers Densmore’s secrets. Red’s suspicions lead him into a game of cat and mouse and possibly put him in line to become a victim.

“Blood Mug” opens with a page-turning drama of a classic whodunit.  However, after the initial dead body is found, the story drifts to Red’s past, disrupting the thrill. Red’s network is well built, creating a team of experts to help him solve the mystery. Once back on track, each additional murder is suspensefully played out. Readers will be engaged as they follow Red’s investigative process and discover how each murder is related. The characters are beautifully crafted to trick readers into thinking each could be a possible suspect. The point of view is tricky, though, since most of the story is told as first person through Red, yet, omniscient details trickle in, throwing in a bit of confusion. W.F. Ranew masterfully weaves together the threads of mystery then ties them all up in a satisfactory ending.

Moria Wolf