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Murder to the Metal Reviewed By Wally Wood of Bookpleasures.com
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Wally Wood

Reviewer Wally Wood: Wally is an editor and writer, has published three novels, Getting Oriented:A Novel about Japan, The Girl in the Photo an  Death in a Family Business. He obtained his MA in creative writing in 2002 from the City University of New York and has worked with a number of authors as a ghostwriter and collaborator.

With an extensive background in a variety of business subjects, his credits include twenty-one nonfiction books. He spent twenty-five years as a trade magazine reporter and editor and has been a volunteer writing and business teacher in state and federal prisons for more than twenty years. He has finished his fourth novel and has translated a collection of Japanese short stories into English.



 
By Wally Wood
Published on June 23, 2018
 

Author: AnnieHogsett
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN: 978-1-4642-0-9994


Annie Hogsett sets up an interesting situation for her "Somebody's Bound to Wind Up Dead Mystery" series. In the first book, Too Lucky to Live, (which I have not read and which is not necessary to read to enjoy Murder to the Metal), Thomas Bennington III a blind professor at Cleveland's Case-Western Reserve University buys a lottery ticket to show a young friend that it's a waste of money and unfortunately wins the $550,000,000 MondoMegaJackpot. At that point, Tom has already met Alice (Allie) Jane Harper, who narrates both books. Complications ensue.



Author: Annie Hogsett
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN: 978-1-4642-0-9994

Annie Hogsett sets up an interesting situation for her "Somebody's Bound to Wind Up Dead Mystery" series. In the first book, Too Lucky to Live, (which I have not read and which is not necessary to read to enjoy Murder to the Metal), Thomas Bennington III a blind professor at Cleveland's Case-Western Reserve University buys a lottery ticket to show a young friend that it's a waste of money and unfortunately wins the $550,000,000 MondoMegaJackpot. At that point, Tom has already met Alice (Allie) Jane Harper, who narrates both books. Complications ensue.

When Murder to the Metal opens, Tom and Allie are an item. They have hired Otis, a Cleveland ex-cop and PI for round-the-clock security (with that kind of money, they need it), and have moved into a lakefront mansion. They've decided to establish the T&A Detective Agency and use the jackpot winnings to help clients with cases the police do not regard as serious and worth more than a cursory investigation.

Like the disappearance of Lloyd Bunker, the boyfriend of Loretta Coates, a librarian at the Memorial-Nottingham Branch of the Cleveland Public Library (a real place) where Allie had worked part time. Here's Allie's description of her: "She was mid-forties and pretty, but her attractiveness was impaired by the fact that she looked worried. A lot worried. Most of the time. Her blue eyes were perpetually widened by concern. Her eyebrows tucked in toward each other in a tiny wrinkly frown. Her lips, a lovely bow when she relaxed enough to smile, stayed pursed up . . . "

Tom may be blind, but has "honed his remaining four senses and added on what he calls the 'blind man Spidey sense.' That one has proved to be almost superhuman from time to time. But mostly, he's just really paying attention . . ." An interesting theme running through the book is that Tom is aware of things other people miss or ignore.

By necessity, Allie and Tom must deal with the Cleveland PD in the person of Tony Valerio, who has already had dealings with with them. He says:"I'm going to say one more time that getting mixed up in official police business is a leading cause of death amongst wannabee P.I.'s"

     "I would take that very much to heart, Tony, if I wanted to be a P.I. I do not."

     I felt comfortable with this. It was even the truth, for a change. I wanted to do all my investigating while standing safely in the shadow of my real P.I., under the protection of his gun, with no need a tall for any gun of my own. I wanted the investigating done by me to be more of an intellectual adventure. I'd already been shot at once and I hadn't like it.

I hope I've conveyed the flavor of Hogsett's writing, but if not and because it's so much fun, here's another as Allie describes the lakefront mansion Tom has rented for them: ". .  . nothing prepared me for occupying a rental house the size of Times Square. Nine thousand plus square feet is, like, five metric tons of feet. I could have dropped our entire small-tow shuttle into the master bath. Given that we were renting and the true owner spirited alot of his irreplaceable items into climate-controlled storage, much of the house consisted of immense, gorgeously aneled, heavily fireplaced but under-furnitured spaces that took a while to merely walk through."

Murder to the Metal has an engaging narrator, an interesting cast, and a complex and plausible plot once you accept that a blind professor can win a mega-million jackpot and that bad people will go to considerable lengths to steal it. But then, of course they would. Read and enjoy.