Brilliant Disguise

Mary Anne

Marian Selby is heartbroken when her next-door neighbor dies and the death is later ruled a suicide.  A widow for over a decade, Marian still fears losing another loved one, and she had bonded with her troubled neighbor Dianne. New Detective Charlie McClung is a good-looking guy with kind eyes, and he seems like the man to solve the sinister case.  Marian is a lover of mysteries and doesn’t mind helping out the handsome detective by asking a few questions.  She employs her cookie-making skills to good use by interviewing Dianne’s “bad seed” daughter Katie, and snooping around for clues. McClung smells something stinking in the local police department, particularly his boss, the police chief. He knows he needs to tread lightly and advises Marian to do the same.  Between his growing feelings for Marian and their detective work, someone just might get hurt.  


Readers who enjoy cozy/traditional mysteries will appreciate the homage inherent in this novel. However, the narrative carries an uneven tone (shifting from mystery to woman’s fiction) and the author has a  tendency to go off on tangents.   It was difficult to determine who is meant to be the lead character, the way the story frequently shifts points of view.  The secondary characters felt underdeveloped and came across somewhat cardboard.  On the bright side, Marian and Charlie are both likable characters, and Marian’s process of coming to terms with her husband’s death is poignant.   “Brilliant Disguise” is the start of a promising mystery/romance series.


Danielle Hill