Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mystery Book Review: A Trial of One by Mary E. Martin

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of A Trial of One by Mary E. Martin. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.A Trial of One by Mary E. Martin

A Trial of One by
The Osgoode Trilogy

iUniverse (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-595-68831-4 (0595688314)
ISBN-13: 9978-0-595-68831-9 (9780595688319)
Publication Date: September 2007
List Price: $32.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Attorney Harry Jenkins is on a frantic search for shares of Elixicorp Enterprises stock, worth over thirty million dollars, for his elderly client, Norma Dinnick. The shares were originally sold to raise money for research into memory loss in seniors. Ironically, no one seems to remember just where the shares might be. Pursuing Jenkins through and London, and to the darkened, narrow calles of , is Dr. Robert Hawke, a sinister madman who claims to have the cure for Alzheimer's disease.

As their chase unravels a decades-old fraud, yet another search is underway for the mysterious Q.

Dorothy Crawford, widow of Jenkins' law partner Richard Crawford, believes Q, a jealous lover or angry husband, has murdered her husband.

Review: Mary E. Martin brings her Osgoode trilogy to a close with A Trial of One, an international thriller that provides closure to the many storylines introduced in this series.

It isn't strictly necessary to read the previous volumes in this series to appreciate this one, though it may help; sufficient background information is given here so that new readers aren't completely lost as they get started. Toronto attorney Harry Jenkins is finally given the clues needed to locate the money taken years earlier in a con that went wrong. He has a new adversary, however, in Dr. Robert Hawke, a geriatric researcher who believes he has a claim on the money that would be used to further his study into Alzheimer's. When Harry realizes that Hawke will stop at nothing to obtain the funds, he knows he must move the money from one hidden location to another to protect not only his client, but also to save his life.

A Trial of One may be the best of the series. It is exceptionally well written; Martin has a flair for dialog and settings, and her narrative keeps the plot moving forward. The title, often referred to by Hawke in a menacing manner, is more appropriately applied to Harry himself. In both personal and professional ways, he's conflicted. His actions and decisions dictate which direction his life will take. He is, in effect, on trial, if only in his own mind. A measure of how well this character is developed is that one is never quite sure what he will do.

As with the previous book, the basic question of "why now" remains unresolved at the end of this series. Harry's client, Norma Dinnick, obviously knew where the money was and how to retrieve it. Why did she wait all these years to instruct Harry to get it? Was she trying to outlive anyone who might lay claim to it? Was she afraid if she did get it, she wouldn't live to enjoy it? The answers to these questions aren't critical to enjoying the book, but they might have helped explain some of the motivation behind the search.

In an , she mentions she is considering another trilogy with Harry Jenkins. It would be most appropriate: this intriguing character deserves another case.

Special thanks to Mary E. Martin for providing an ARC of A Trial of One for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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