It’s a Mystery: A Crack in Everything, by Angela Gerst

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Susan Callisto is a Boston attorney/election consultant, disappointed in love, and coping by throwing herself into her work. She is lured into taking on a last minute candidate for mayor, in the person of Chaz Renfrow, biotech specialist, despite some misgivings about his character. Within a few days, he and his assistant are dead. On the personal front, Susan’s surrogate grandpa lands in the hospital, badly beaten. Could this incident be connected to his lease dispute? The case is assigned to her ex boyfriend, Detective Michael Benedict, and together, they try to puzzle out what’s going on.

A Crack in Everything is tautly composed, only 250+ pages, but crammed with characters, clues, and action. There is no shortage of suspects with motive, or of loose ends that need to be tied together. Angela Gerst is up to the job. She knows lawyering, politics, Boston, and competent writing, and her characters are intelligent, lively, and credible. My only complaint is that I kept getting a couple of them confused, but otherwise, this is a terrific first novel that promises to develop into a fine series.

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