April 26, 2012

Murder mystery

Out of the Cold: A Robyn Hunter Mystery
by Norah McClintock

Nick has disappeared without a word, and Robyn doesn't know what to make of it. Could this be the end of their relationship? To keep her mind off her romantic troubles, she decides to volunteer at a drop-in centre for the homeless. After injuring Robyn, one of its clients, a man named Duffy, is banished from the shelter. On the coldest night of the year, he is found dead. Another volunteer named Ben blames Robyn for Mr. Duffy's death. 

Determined to have Mr. Duffy properly remembered, Ben tries to find out more about him. To make amends, Robyn agrees to help. What seems like another tragic death turns out to be something more sinister.

Robyn is no Nancy Drew. She lacks Nancy's confidence and smarts, which is somewhat surprising given that her father is an ex-cop turned private investigator. He helps out by giving her some pretty obvious advice. Conveniently, she manages to find some pretty handy clues and speak to all the right people, leading to a very far-fetched resolution. Let's just say it involves a botched murder attempt, amnesia, and an odd relationship.

As for Nick's disappearance, that plot point's left hanging. Robyn alludes to a previous incident, but we never know what actually happened. Since this book is part of a series, I must assume that Nick shows up in the other books. If readers like easy mysteries, they will seek out the rest of the series. If not, they'll go for something more exciting. I'd suggest The Mysterious Benedict Society.

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