In Murder in Red (Berkley), the forty-ninth installment of the long-running Murder, She Wrote series, Jessica Fletcher returns with familiar and well-executed flare. This is the third series installment penned by Jon Land. Last time, he took Jessica well outside her comfort zone to unravel a Deep State conspiracy, a sharp blend of thriller and cozy mystery. Now, having passed quite literally through the fire, Land’s reborn Jessica returns to her home town of Cabot Cove ready to face a new test of her sleuthing skills.
The story begins at the funeral for Jessica’s friend Jean, and the tenacity, caring, and cleverness Jessica is known for are immediately evident in the way she ensures Jean’s Legacy. But the service takes a sinister turn when Mimi Van Dorn, another close friend, is nearly run down outside the church. From there, events both suspicious and murderous ensue. All share the common thread of a new medical facility on the outskirts of town—the Clifton Clinic. Clinical trials and rejuvenation drugs from the clinic’s founder, Dr. Charles Clifton, may be dealing out more death than life. Armed only with her rapier wit and a hard stare, Jessica digs into the connections between Clifton, Mimi, and an accident involving Mimi’s son ten years earlier.
Mystery lovers adore a puzzle, and in Murder in Red, Land weaves the pieces into the story in perfect step with the action. Readers will also enjoy the small-town banter between Jessica and Cabot Cove’s famous cast, including Scotland Yard’s Chief Inspector George Sutherland, a returning series guest. The dialogue is quick, witty, and revealing, and the topic of aging and clinical trials gives Jessica room for introspection. Readers even get a peek at her motivations for becoming a mystery writer in the first place, both tragic and triumphant.
Land is a master in multiple genres, but in all of them, human nature and human interaction are where he shines most. Murder in Red is no exception. The final page is the absolute best this reviewer has read all year. With Murder in Red, Land hits his cozy mystery stride. He bakes up a blend of puzzles and suspense that Murder, She Wrote fans will love, and he adds in a sprinkling of thrills to keep it spicy and fresh.
Murder in Red is now available.
About Jon Land
Jon Land is the bestselling author over 25 novels. He graduated from Brown University in 1979 Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude and continues his association with Brown as an alumni advisor. Jon often bases his novels and scripts on extensive travel and research as well as a twenty-five year career in martial arts. He is an associate member of the US Special Forces and frequently volunteers in schools to help young people learn to enjoy the process of writing. Jon is the Vice-President of marketing of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and is often asked to speak on topics regarding writing and research.
In addition to writing suspense/thrillers John is also a screenwriter with his first film credit coming in 2005. He works with many industry professionals and has garnered the respect and friendship of many author-colleagues. He loves storytelling in all its forms. John currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island and loves hearing from his readers and aspiring writers.