Posed for Murder
Dunne, Feb 2009, $ 24.95
Ever since she can remember photographer Lydia McKenzie wanted to have a solo exhibit of her work. Her dream comes true when Jacques Bulan displays her photos at his Bulan Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The pictures are that of models posed as dead people from the Lost Girls book. The author photographed the actual corpses while Lydia duplicated the victims using her friends. Her exhibit is interrupted when two NYPD detectives Romero and Wong arrive. They inform Lydia that one of her models Marie LaFarge was killed and posed just like the photo she was in.
When Jacques calls her to inform her he has a client interested in buying her work, she rushes over to the gallery only to find Bulan murdered and no one else on site. At her apartment, she stops to pick up her mail which includes an unmarked envelope. Inside is a photograph of Jenna looking dead; identical to the one Lydia took. Soon afterward, the killer trashes Lydia’s apartment leaving behind a note stating she is next. Instead Emma, another friend who posed for her is missing; a photo arrives in gory detail. When Lydia is kidnapped, she escapes along with Emme, but knows her life is in danger unless she can take down the culprit.
POSED FOR MURDER won the St. Martin's Minotaur/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition and readers will see why. The plot flows smoothly with a wonderful whodunit and why keeping reader attention. The key characters especially the beleaguered heroine are fully developed and either are involved in the murders or her job as a “Girl Friday” at D'Angelo Investigations, owned by comedic brothers Leo and Frankie D'Angelo and their authoritarian Mama. Readers will admire Lydia for her New York City grit and courage as she takes charge of her life although she fears the killer. This is a fun opening tale, which hopefully is the start of more amateur sleuth adventures.