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A luxury residence in downtown Toronto. A group of artsy seniors. Caring staff. An idyllic scene? Or a setting for murder?
In her third Manziuk and Ryan mystery, J. A. Menzies once again delights readers with complex characters, tight plotting, and a satisfying conclusion.
Most of the residents of the 20th floor of Serenity Suites are enjoying their retirement. The famous Broadway actress has just married a much-younger musician. The best-selling author and his wife are going strong. The character actor still chooses the odd gig.
But not all is serene. The former host of a popular radio talk show fears his wife is slipping into dementia. The ballerina with a shady past is being evicted. At least one resident is facing a dreaded illness.
Most of the staff appear to be content, although Audra Limson, manager of the 20th floor, has learned to smile and remain outwardly calm in spite of the constant turmoil in her personal life.
When a harmless elderly woman is murdered in the common room, residents immediately wonder if a deluded mercy-killer thinks he or she is doing them a favour by dispatching them, and wonder if they'll be next.
Homicide detectives Paul Manziuk and Jacqueline Ryan, themselves dealing with personal issues, try to allay the residents' fears while following every rabbit trail that comes up. As they sort through half-truths and long-buried secrets, they realize that those with opportunity had no motive, and those with motive, no opportunity. They know they're missing something, but what?
The Manziuk and Ryan Mysteries in order:
Shaded Light: The Case of the Tactless Trophy Wife
Glitter of Diamonds: The Case of the Reckless Radio Host
Shadow of a Butterfly: The Case of the Harmless Old Woman
Short stories by J. A. Menzies:
“The Case of the Sneezing Accountant: A Manziuk and Ryan Short Story”
“The Day Time Stood Still”
“They Can't Take That Away From Me”
“Revenge So Sweet”
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J. A. Menzies is an award-winning author who spent a large proportion of her formative years reading mysteries, following sports, and studying psychology. Her varied interests converge in the Manziuk and Ryan mystery series, which combines the best aspects of the classic whodunit with contemporary themes. J. A. is known for having characters readers quickly learn to care about: intricate, dynamic plots; the ability to have the reader laughing one minute and shedding tears the next; and her reflection of the multi-cultural patchwork quilt of her homeland.
Menzies' series protagonists are Detective-Inspector Paul Manziuk and Detective-Constable Jacqueline Ryan. Manziuk is a tired 47-year-old life-long cop with Ukrainian ancestry, a very patient wife, and three young adult children. Ryan is a 28-year-old black woman with an MA in criminology, Jamaican ancestry, and a chip on her shoulder.
Reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and other locations compared her writing to that of the best of Agatha Christie. Library Journal called her a “master of plotting.”
J. A. Menzies is the mystery alter-ego of award-winning author, motivational speaker, and writing teacher, N. J. Lindquist. Originally from western Canada, N. J. and her family now live in Ontario.
Mary Simmons's soft voice held a hint of sadness. “I think Ingrid's dead.” She nodded her head, with its wrinkled face and halo of snow-white hair, and stuffed a tissue up the sleeve of her blue cashmere cardigan. Leaning closer to peer into the still face of the stout, grey-haired woman slumped over in her easy chair, she said, “I'm pretty sure she's dead.”
“She's sleeping.” Lyle Oakley was seated on a leather recliner two chairs over from Ingrid's. Having had a good lunch, he'd enjoyed a short nap and then spent some time perusing the four newspapers that were delivered daily. His eyes were now fixed on Ginny Lovejoy's column in the sports section of the August 6th edition of the Toronto Daily News. He tended to save the best for last.
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Book Description MurderWillOut Mysteries, 2015. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1927692105
Book Description MurderWillOut Mysteries, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111927692105