Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Matters of Doubt-Warren C. Easley

Matters of Doubt

Warren C. Easley

Poisoned Pen, Sep 1 2013, $24.95

ISBN 9781464201745

When his wife committed suicide, Cal Claxton knew she killed two lives as he quits his position as a chief prosecutor and moved from Los Angeles to Dundee, Oregon. He opens up a small legal practice.

Tattooed street artist, Danny “Picasso” Baxter rides a battered bike in the rain the twenty-five miles from Portland to asks Cal to look into the death of his mother Nicole. Eight years ago Nicole vanished, but was not found until recently when her skeletal remains were located in the Deschutes River. Picasso believes his mom’s boyfriend, businessman Mitch Conyers, killed her. With help from his friend Nando Mendoza, Cal reluctantly looks into Nicole’s past as an investigative reporter for The Oregonian and uncovers sleazy business practices from prominent residents. When someone murders Convers, PPD suspects Picasso. As the evidence mounts against the homeless lad, Dr. Anna Eriksen, whose Old Town Urgent Care clinic wall Picasso has been painting a mural on, pleads with Cal to represent the young man.

The first Cal Claxton Oregon Mystery is an engaging tale that captures the essence of the Old Town street community. The cold case whodunit is fun though other murders and abductions feel over the top of Mount Hood and never reach the excitement level of the homeless social structure as seen mostly through Cal and to a somewhat lesser degree Anna.

Harriet Klausner

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