Reviewer Sue Ayers: Sue is a freelance writer
residing in Richmond, VA. She is a graduate of Virginia
Commonwealth University where she received a bachelor’s degree in
English. Ayers is a frequent contributor to many popular sites and
also blogs about staying sane in a crazy world at her WEBSITE
Author: Jackie Fullerton
In Revenge Served Cold, we meet Anne Marshall, law student by night, day-time court reporter, and constantly an amateur detective. Anne involves herself in an investigation of the murdered husband of a friend's friend. The main suspect is the victim’s wife, Kathy.
Anne begins delving into the investigation asking for assistance from friends and law-school classmates. She soon discovers that all of her friends are not too keen on helping her and during the investigation she ruffles a few feathers.
Anne’s boyfriend Jason and her homicide detective friends Shane and Maria do not want her interfering in the investigation. However, doggedly, Anne forges ahead, following leads, with little regard for her friends’ cautionary words. She interviews witnesses, discusses the case with anyone and everyone and enlists other friends to aid her.
This is an interesting story with several twists and turns. Anne manages to uncover the most elementary clues that should have been discovered by law officials.
In a real crime investigation, streets would have been canvassed, witnesses continuously interviewed and a suspect charged. Certainly, a suspect would not be left alone to potentially flee the country. In fiction, however, these matters are conveniently left undone, otherwise how would crimes be solved by the likes of Anne or meddling kids in a mystery machine?
Anne’s detective work alone does not take her from a point A to point B throughout the story. She does have a little help from her father James, who was a very successful attorney. He shows up intermittently throughout the story to feed Anne information that she wouldn’t be able to uncover alone. How does he do it? Well, it’s easy, because James is dead and appears to Anne as a ghost.
The most fundamental creative writing class instructor would steer students away from writing a story where ghosts solve mysteries or one wakes up and it was all a dream, but somehow James blends well into the story line. He’s likeable and not a nuisance, and thus he is tolerable.
The other characters are interesting, and for the most part, agreeable. In addition, characters seem too perfect in their relationships and careers, except for Kathy, who suffers with a drinking problem. The dialogue is fun, although a bit contrived, such as the friends referring to Anne as “our Miss Marple.” Nonetheless, the story is a fun and uncomplicated read - perhaps a good mystery to take to the beach!