About Five Star Sleuths
No one loves a good mystery more than the editors and designers at Five Star Sleuths!
We started as partners in the reintroduction of the works of the late Elizabeth Daniels Squire, one of Americaís most prolific and best-loved mystery writers. Squireís work, which features the loveable but absentminded amateur detective Peaches Dann, has over the years developed a fan base that circles the globe.
With this multi-book project well underway, we at Five Star Sleuths want to reach out to others, perhaps not as well known, mystery writers and help them bring their works to print.
Are you an aspiring mystery writer? Have you created a story sure to enthrall readers? To learn more about having your book published through Five Star Sleuths, click on Partnership Publishing
Five Star SleuthsóItís no mystery why our novels of crime, intrigue, and deductive reasoning are so popular.
KILL THE MESSENGER
ELIZABETH DANIELS SQUIRE
In Elizabeth Daniels Squire's first mystery, a legendary newspaper publisher's bourbon has been laced with cyanide. Because he had dirt on just about everyone, there is no shortage of suspects. His son must find the killer before the deadline runs out and the Paper is sold to a shady Conglomerate.
Mystery surrounds newspaper publisherís death
Tar Heels from Murphy to Manteo feared and admired the Old Man.
He had owned and published North Carolinaís most influential newspaper from the days when its endorsement could catapult a ward heeler into the governorís mansion. Inevitably, The Defender also destroyed countless careers and reputations, but the newspaper just as often exposed graft and protected the commonwealth.
The Old Man, aka Isaiah Justice, routinely received threatening letters; he dismissed them as an occupational hazard.
His mistress found him slumped over his typewriter while writing his autobiography. Apparently, the murderer had secreted cyanide in the ice cubes of his evening bourbon and branch water. All evidence suggests Justiceís demise was an "inside job" Ė someone on The Defenderís staff or a family member.
Death never arrives at a convenient time, but in Justiceís case, the Grim Reaperís visit is downright awkward.
The Gemtrex Group, a media conglomerate possibly entangled with the Mafia, had recently offered a generous bid for The Defender, but the Old Man had previously gifted the stock to numerous family members and friends.
The Justice family had anticipated a wrangle of words about the offer even before Justiceís death. When it seems a majority of the family is ready to accept the Gemtrex bid, they grudgingly agree to postpone the vote for 48 hours.
Howard, one of the Old Manís sons, and Leeroy, a top-notch investigative reporter, beg for the time to solve the crime.
A sampling of suspects include Suzanne, the Old Manís alluring mistress; Madison, another of the Old Manís sons with a "business wizard" reputation; Josh, yet another son who wears sandals and lives on a Georgia farm commune; and "Miss Bounce," the Old Manís wife.
Other offbeat characters include Freddy Norris, a boozy but clairvoyant tramp; and Leonora, the Old Manís secretary whose thick eyeglasses and receding chin give her the nickname Goldfish.
This first mystery novel by Elizabeth Daniels Squire is recommended because of its taut storyline and eccentric characters. Some readers might consider the novel a tad too compact because even at 229 pages, some elements may appear to be missing. The missing component, perhaps, is the victim himself.
Many mysteries introduce the victim to the reader from the beginning, so he or she is known up-close when the murder occurs, usually about 50 or so pages into the book. This does not happen in "Kill the Messenger," as the Old Man is killed a few hours before chapter one. Thus the reader does not learn about the victim on a personal level.
What often occurs when readers do not meet the victim is that they do not care about or sympathize with the victim, so they may not be so concerned if his or her killer is ultimately unmasked. Often, readers lose interest because they feel as if they have little to gain by learning the murdererís identity. Still, this novel entertains because of the quirky characters and behaviors.
Many North Carolinians may also enjoy this tale because the late author was a member of the Daniels family, who owned and published Raleighís News and Observer for many generations.
The Daniels dynasty, fervent Democrats, played a significant role in the Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman administrations.
Native Tar Heels cannot help but wonder if "Kill the Messenger" was not inspired by Daniels family discussions and/or disagreements that led to the Raleigh News and Observerís sale in 1995.
Posted by CW Editor on October 14, 2011
by Mike Shinn