Author: David S. Pederson
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Release Date: September 13, 2022
Genre(s): Crime Procedural
Page Count: 238
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This second book in the private detective Mason Adler mystery series, set in post-war Phoenix, AZ, has a brisker pace and more focused murder mystery than the introductory book in the series, Murder on Monte Vista. The same core cast of characters are present here - Mason Adler, an attractive, well-dressed 50-year-old gay detective (with a nod to Dave Brandstetter), his best friend Lydia, the flamboyant interior decorator Walter, and friend Detective Emil Hardwick.
The mystery involves a woman murdered and stuffed in her roommate's trunk and delivered to Union Station prior to the roommate leaving for California on the Golden State Limited. Both Mason and Emil work the case and share details along the way and bit by bit the various elements of the crime are identified, and finally solved, after a few twists along the way.
Where this story really works is in the 1946 setting at a time when air conditioning was rare, your phone lived out in the front hall on a special stand, two women cohabitating and running an apartment building could rather successfully claim to be "sisters," complimenting and coordinating colors for male attire was an art form, and at the Cactus Cantina you could get the regular supper for sixty-five cents, with tamales, enchilada, frijoles, tortillas de maiz and sopa de arroz.
The murder/mystery is an homage to a 1931 Phoenix murder, and many of the locations are old Phoenix landmarks. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery and look forward to the next one (which I suspect may involve Walter, Mason and a weekend trip to Palm Springs). 4 stars.
I received an ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.