Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Deep Waters by Kate Charles. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-59058-602-6 (1590586026)
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-602-0 (9781590586020)
Publication Date: March 2009
List Price: $24.95
Review: Anglican curate Callie Anson finds herself drawn into the investigation surrounding the death of a baby in Deep Waters, the third mystery in this series by Kate Charles.
Callie’s troubles begin on a stormy windy night when her roof tiles begin to slide and tear her roof apart. It will take the roofer from six weeks to two months to repair it. She is forced to move into the vicar’s home next to the church where she is not particularly welcomed by his wife. While there a baby girl, the 3-month-old child of celebrities, is found dead in her crib. Detective Inspector Neville Stewart is called away from his honeymoon to investigate the death. The first theory is SIDS. Mark Lombardi, a Catholic who is in love with Callie, is the family liaison officer. He calls Callie since the parents lived within her constituency. The parents decide they want Callie rather than a priest to carry out official duties surrounding the baby's funeral. But there's something else: the baby had a hairline fracture in her neck, the possible result of being shaken too hard. About the same time, DI Stewart and Mark are notified of the death of Joe di Stefano, Mark’s brother-in-law, though there is a mystery surrounding his fatal heart attack. Mark is put on leave because of his family association. Mark’s niece, Chiara, being fond of Callie, leans on her for comfort in her grief. Mark’s sister, however, tells Mark in no uncertain terms that Callie to back off. If Chiara is to talk to anyone is it to be with her or their priest. Can the strain in Callie and Mark’s relationship be revived after Mark issues his sister’s ultimatum? And what will happen to Stewart’s marriage after he chooses his job over his new wife?
Deep Waters is an excellent mystery. Not only is the storyline compelling, but the characters have an emotional range that adds depth and interest for the reader, and the relationship between Callie and Mark is particularly noteworthy. There's also the subplot about celebrities, how easily they are popularized by the press and how quickly they can be forgotten by the public. The actions of the tabloid press are brought to bear here, how a scoop can make or break a journalist's reputation, regardless of who might be hurt in the process or even if the truth is ever reported. This is a series that continues to evolve and improve with each succeeding book.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.
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Synopsis (from the publisher): In a culture obsessed with celebrity, baby Muffin’s death is big news. Crib death? Or something more sinister? Everyone wants to know, including the police.
Whatever the truth, the bereaved parents -- celebrity couple Jodee and Chazz -- live in curate Callie Anson’s London parish, and Callie becomes involved with funeral arrangements, despite the disapproval of her vicar and his wife.
Detective Inspector Neville Stewart is recalled from his honeymoon to investigate the case -- with disastrous personal results. And journalist Lilith Noone’s professional future is on the line, as she is sucked more and more deeply into her own flirtation with celebrity culture.
Meanwhile, for police family liaison officer Mark Lombardi, the death of baby Muffin is eclipsed by another death, much closer to home, and he finds himself in an impossible position, torn between his loyalty to his family and his growing love for Callie.
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