Thursday, July 1, 2010

Review: Sheila Lowe's Dead Write Best in Series - So Far!

Dead Write: A Forensic Handwriting MysteryDead Write

A Forensic
Handwriting Mystery

By Sheila Lowe

ISBN: 9780451228123
310 Pages

I had purchased Dead Write by Sheila Lowe a number of months ago, but hadn’t had the time to enjoy one of my favorite author books. But it still surprised me when I got her invitation to her book launching party for her next novel! Okay I’m a year behind but I always make time for my favorites!

Dead Write is the third in Lowe’s Forensic Handwriting Series; however, I was also pleased to see that in her latest novel, she has moved more into the creation of solid, complex murder mystery at its finest! Ms. Lowe has expanded the complexity of her stories and fascinating characters to the point where she's stumping the best of us as we try to solve the case! It looks like readers can look forward to even more from this author in the future!

Claudia Rose, the handwriting expert, is asked to come to New York as a consultant to Baroness Grusha Olinetsky. As she tells her main man Joel Jovanic, a LA Police Detective, the Baroness “runs a ritzy dating club.” Actually, the Baroness would correctly say that is is a world-class matchmaker who works only with the rich and famous! And they paid the Baroness $100,000 to find their mate!

To assist in the matchmaking, she uses a number of consultants and she needs a handwriting analysis consultant quickly.

What she doesn’t tell her—at least until she gets there—is that her clients are dying! And she needs her help in determining who could be involved!

When Claudia arrives in New York, she is immediately given confidential client packets which includes their previously created handwriting analysis. She also begins to meet the clients who are looking for their perfect mate. Avram Cohen is there and, before Claudia has even talked to her boss, she is commissioned to immediately begin his handwriting analysis. Avram admitted that he had done this before--explaining that in Israel, graphology is used to select kibbutz members. Claudia promptly picked up on that and had him write a paragraph in both Hebrew and English. He, in turn, ignored her pens and immediately pulled out a distinctive Waterman fountain pen!

His choice of pen had already begun to tell Claudia about him--she knew that he cared about the way things looked, that he had an eye for color and texture and while watching him write she had understood even more!

After the initial review of all of the clients, Claudia has selected several about which she has concerns. And in this whodunit that turns out to have many possibilities since the individuals who have died have dated a number of the other clients...and then there are also the other consultants that seem to have a special interest, especially since the daughter of the medical consultant has also dated several of the clients.
Too late Claudia also finds out that the Baroness has a police record and that is why she doesn’t want to seek their help!

Each of the individuals seeking a mate had submitted their writing for analysis. But soon Claudia was looking for writing samples of everybody involved. I enjoyed the show of interest in Claudia from the rich and single clients, as well as the doctor. Of course, Joel Jovanic was not too pleased that her short assignment was turning out to be both longer than planned...and dangerous! There is also a jealous competitor of Claudia involved (she replaced him as the handwriting expert) and he is doing as much as possible to discredit her... Claudia has become a tenacious and attentive investigator in search of answers--and keeps going until she finds them. A courageous lady who is exciting to watch in action!

But there was just no way to expect the climatic end of Dead Write by Sheila Lowe. Lowe’s complex twists and turns in this one has moved her solidly into the mystery genre in addition to the forensics angle. I’m moving directly into her new book, caused she’s now a must-read favorite author!

Book was purchased by

G. A. Bixler

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