Murder on Monte Vista (Mason Adler Mystery #1)

 Murder on Monte Vista (Mason Adler Mystery #1)
Author: David S. Pederson
Publisher: Bold Stroke Books
Release Date: March 15, 2022
Genre(s): Murder / Mystery, Private Investigator, Historical
Page Count: 226
Rating: 3 stars out of 5 

David Pederson's first series, the Heath Barrington Mysteries set in Milwaukee in the 1950s, introduced us to his detective protagonist and and placed Heath in a number of situations where he was directly involved in the case - in a secluded private home with a host of suspects, on a boat on Lake Michigan where a murder takes place, at a large hotel in Chicago, etc. 

In contrast, this first book in his new Mason Adler Mystery series reads as if it were a stage play, with most of the action happening off-stage. We learn of cases that Mason has solved in the past, including a very recent case of a "was it murder or suicide" and the murder (in an ornately decorated home on Monte Vista in post WWII-Phoenix) doesn't kick in until around 65% through the book. 

Even when Adler solves this intriguing "locked room" mystery, it doesn't occur at the scene, but rather in a discussion with his acquaintance Walter Wingate, the interior decorator in whose home the murder occurred. As far as the cast of characters, Mason's friend Lydia is nicely fleshed-out, but most of the secondary characters are very lightly developed. One exception is Walter Wingate, but personally I found him very mean-spirited (or completely unaware of anything other than his own interests). 

I did like the way Pederson gives us a feel for the era and the manner in which one had to live their life at a time when homosexuality was still illegal. Mason is a character I'd like to learn more about, and I'd like to see him more actively involved in investigating for his clients. 3 stars for Murder on Monte Vista and I look forward to seeing how the series develops. 

I received an ARC from the Publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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