The Corpse with the Diamond Hand (A Cait Morgan Mystery)
By Cathy Ace
Rating 4/5 Stairs
Newlyweds Cait and Bud are finally on their honeymoon, cruising around the beautiful islands of Hawaii. They’ve had a lovely time and are in the final days of their journey. Unfortunately, things aren’t going as well for cruise employee Tommy Trussler. He’s about to be murdered – in front of unsuspecting witnesses – in the game room.
This book (as with the others I’ve read in this series) is a classic locked-room mystery. If you are unfamiliar with the term, Wikipedia has a great definition:
The locked–room mystery is a subgenre of detective fiction in which a crime—almost always murder—is committed under apparently impossible circumstances. The crime in question typically involves a crime scene that no intruder could have entered or left, e.g., a locked room.
In the case of The Diamond Hand, Tommy is poisoned in a public room, with many others present. Who administered the fatal dose? And how? To answer these questions, Cait realizes she needs to learn about each person present at Tommy’s death and their relationship with the deceased. The why will help answer the who.
For me, the book started a bit slow. Tommy’s murder occurs right away, but immediately after the murder, Cait uses her eidetic memory (commonly called a “photographic memory”) to recall the scene again in detail for her husband. It felt a bit repetitive since the murder had just occurred right before her recollection. Once I got past this point, things picked up.
In addition to her eidetic memory, Cait is excellent at reading people. The majority of the book is spent with Cait speaking to different suspects and making observations. At the end of the book, Ms. Ace stages a classic mystery moment where Cait gathers all the suspects together in a room and informs everyone of what she’s learned. As well as whodunit.
Haven’t read any other books in this series? That’s okay. You can jump right into The Corpse with the Diamond Hand. And don’t fret if you can’t figure out whodunit. There are many suspects and red herrings in this puzzle. I for one had no idea who the murderer was until Cait’s big reveal. Which made this mystery a lot of fun and kept me guessing.
Many thanks to TouchWood Editions for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.