Monday, August 27, 2012
Death's Pale Horse: Review
I don't have a lot to say about this one. I expected Death's Pale Horse by James Sherburne to have all the elements I look for in a good historical mystery. Setting: late 1800s (one of my favorite time periods) among the Saratoga horse racing scene. Interesting and somewhat unsual protagonist: sportswriter Paddy Moretti. Story revolves around Moretti trying to clear the first black jockey to ever ride at Saratoga of the murder charge--sounded like an exciting hook for the reader. But I just could not get into the story. It was very slow moving even though Paddy is scurrying hither and yon looking for a story that will get his editor off his back and secure his job. Bodies appear (one in the dumbwaiter at the hotel!) and Paddy tries to solve the murders while he also tries to avoid thugs who are on his heels and the police who are angry that he has spilled the beans about the murders at the racetrack (we don't want to scare off anyone who might drop some cash in the town). The denouement isn't all that exciting and I knew who the culprit was early on. One star for a fairly disappointing read.