Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Silver Anniversary Murder: Review

The Silver Anniversary Murder (2005) is the penultimate book in Lee Harris's mystery series starring ex-nun and amateur investigator Christine Bennett. It is also the last book in the series I needed to read to finish the series. The Chris Bennett mysteries are generally on the lighter side of the mystery field. Occasionally, the stories are a bit more intense emotionally, but Harris definitely keeps us within the cozy realm.

This particular entry begins with an anonymous phone call. A woman calls Chris and tells her that "A body will be found later today." There is also a cryptic reference to the woman's silver wedding anniversary. Quick thinking on Chris's part allow the police to trace the call to an empty apartment with nothing but a phone and a trace of blood on the bedroom carpet. Why did the attractive couple who were about to celebrate a milestone anniversary abandon their home and their careers without a trace? Neighbors in the apartment building have little to tell about the Mitchells--the couple who lived in the apartment. The couple never made friends and few saw them more than to say "Hi" to. One man remembers seeing furniture loaded into a U-Haul, but not much else.

The woman on the phone was a little optimistic in her prediction--the first body isn't found for two weeks. It's a woman and she's soon identified as Holly Mitchell. Or is she? Chris feels drawn to the case...drawn by the haunting voice on the phone. Who called? Was it the woman who has been killed? Or was it her killer? And who is the victim? Chris soon learns that Holly Mitchell may not really exist. There are other names and other identities in the Mitchells' past. Before long, Peter Mitchell's body is found as well and then the Mitchell's daughter arrives--worried that she hasn't been able to reach her parents by phone. Before long Ariana Brinker (the Mitchells' real last name) and Chris Bennett are on a cross-country scavenger hunt, following clues left by Ariana's parents and a trail leads to a 25-year-old secret.

This was a good book to end the series on. Plenty of twists and turns and a bit more actual detective work on the part of Chris Bennett. Throughout most of the series it seems that Chris has a lot of "luck" in her investigations, but this one is a bit more solid with clues. I enjoyed the bond she developed with Ariana. One does have to suspend one's disbelief a bit--just how much information would the local police share with her just because she's married to a NYC police officer? But the books are always interesting and her character is very likable and believable in other ways. It helps that she really likes what she does and is very compassionate in her dealings with victims and perpetrators alike. I highly recommend this series when you want something satisfying but not too heavy. ★★

All Challenges Fulfilled: Mount TBR Challenge, Outdo Yourself, 100 Plus Challenge, Cruisin' Thru the Cozies, Women Challenge, Cloak & Dagger, Color Coded Challenge, My Kind of Mystery, Triple Dog Dare, A-Z Mystery Author Challenge, Lady Detective, Mad Reviewer


Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I haven't dropped by for a while, so I thought I'd leave you a note to let you know I was lurking around tonight. I see you've been busy reading. Hope all it well!

Bev Hankins said...

Hi, Anne! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I'm cramming as much reading in as I can.

fredamans said...

Sounds like this book has been well-crafted with the whodunit. It seems like this book is quite fluid too.