Sunday, March 15, 2015

Murder on a Stick by S. L. Smith

   This is another murder mystery that I read recently and enjoyed.  It was about a middle aged woman being stabbed with a stick at a fair.  Two cops named Pete and Martin are the main guys working this case and it is a confusing web of truth, lies, anger, and people covering for their relatives.  Pretty much everyone that the two cops interview are either related to or close friends of Virginia, the victim.  The problem is that there is no love lost between she and a lot of people.  She seemed to be the difficult type of woman at best.  Even her landlord had issues with her.  Trying to narrow down the suspects seems to be a rather daunting task since, although so many had issues with her, none seemed to be enough to kill her.  Still, who would stab someone with a food stick from one of the vendors at the fair?  The family is a real mess and sort of split because Virginia was the one to put her mother in an assisted care apartment, which was the potential cause of the sharp decline and demise in her mother.  Several family members blamed Virginia while others stood behind her.  Now to weed out who was to blame.
   There was a lot of detail put into this book when it came to the procedures used in the hospital that Virginia was rushed to before her death and in the police procedures.  I liked that about the book, but at times it was almost too much, especially towards the end.  I wasn't particularly fond of the cops lying to certain people they interviewed to find out information, but understand the reasoning behind it.  It also ended with a bang, and a very exciting car chase!  This was a good read!

A solid 4 out of 5 stars!


You can get almost anything on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair. This year, murder is added to the list. Despite the thousands of people in close proximity to the crime scene, efforts to find a witness are futile. Family and friends construct radically different portraits of the victim, and the list of suspects keeps growing. No suspect has a corroborated alibi. Three admit being at the fair that day. 
The investigation crisscrosses the Twin Cities, and travels from the fairgrounds to Rochester, Minnesota. St. Paul investigators Pete Culnane and Martin Tierney must separate fact from fiction, and determine whose lies mean what. 
Murder on a Stick by S. L. Smith is set in St. Paul, Minnesota, and much of the action takes place at the Minnesota State Fair. As the story opens, two older ladies escaping the State Fair (and a couple of mysterious pursuers) with their arms full of freebies discover a dying woman and call the rescue squad. Investigator Pete Culnane and his partner Martin Tierney enter, not laughing. The book deals with problems that the older adult often has to deal with, but never gets overly sentimental or loses empathy for the person within. I found no faults in the writing, and the plot kept me turning pages to see what was going to happen next. 

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