Jim Kelly’s DEATH WORE WHITE Has Dark Edges

death wore whiteI love a good locked-room mystery and that’s essentially what Jim Kelly’s Death Wore White (out June 9) is, except it takes place outdoors. One winter evening during a blizzard, eight drivers are trapped after taking a detour down a small road surrounded by a wide ditch on one side and marshland on the other. A felled pine tree lies across the road, making it impassable, and the last car in line somehow gets stuck sideways, preventing the drivers from backing out. And of course, they’re in a black hole with no cell signal.

When the police arrive about three hours later, they find a corpse behind the wheel of the lead vehicle. No one at the scene saw the murder and there are no incriminating footprints in the snow surrounding the truck. How can this be? Furthermore, the viciousness of the stabbing would have resulted in a lot of blood in the truck and on the killer, but there’s none on any of the other drivers and only a small amount in the cab, implying the man was killed elsewhere. What the hell?!

Detective Inspector Peter Shaw (Scotland Yard’s youngest DI) and his partner, George Valentine, catch the case on the same night they find the corpse of another man washed up on a nearby beach. Before they can get to the bottom of either mystery, more bodies pile up and the puzzle becomes more puzzling. Shaw and Valentine are also dealing with unspoken tension between them resulting from a twelve-year-old case involving a murdered boy which Valentine worked with Shaw’s father, Jack. Valentine and the senior Shaw were accused of planting evidence in that case and Jack eventually died of heartbreak from disappointment. While dealing with all the murders happening on his watch, Peter is also re-investigating the cold case to maybe clear his father’s name.

Death Wore White is interesting in that it reads like an old Agatha Christie novel but the detectives text-message each other and the story is very much a contemporary one. Jim Kelly piles on a lot of subplots and many twists but he deftly juggles them and resolves everything by the end. Except for one subplot, which sets up the next novel featuring Shaw and Valentine. I normally get annoyed when all mysteries aren’t cleared up but in this case, it makes me really eager to see what happens next in this new series.

Nerd verdict: White will suit most mystery fans

Advertisements

6 responses to “Jim Kelly’s DEATH WORE WHITE Has Dark Edges

  1. Ooooh, sounds excellent, PCN! I guess we’ll soon be reading mysteries where the detectives give live Twitter updates and clues as the plot thickens.

    • Or, downloading a new iPhone app that analyzes a clue that identifies the killer šŸ˜‰

      Good book review, PCN.

      • popculturenerd

        Ha ha! Those are excellent ideas for future mysteries! While reading the book, I was expecting someone to Twitter updates in the case and whip out an iPhone app of a magnifying glass. These are not your parents’ Scotland Yard detectives.

  2. Sounds like just the thing to keep me cool on the beach while I’m working on my tan.

  3. I’m shivering just looking at the cover!

  4. You always find the best books, PCN! Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s