By: Jackie Fullerton
Publisher: Thomas House LTD
Publication Date: May 2010
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: April 25, 2010
Elliott Spence, a law professor, is happily married to his college sweetheart, Kathy. Kathy deeply loves her husband as well, but she desperately wants a child to complete their family. Unable to conceive, and having tried just about everything to get pregnant, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol.
One night, while Elliott is supposedly out late with friends, Kathy gets a visit from the local police. They explain that there was a hit-and-run accident and Elliott has been killed. It is obvious to the police that Kathy, who had spent the evening with a bottle, is in a drunken stupor. Could she have killed her husband?
It isn’t long before evidence begins to pile up against Kathy and it looks like she will be charged with Elliott’s murder. Enter Anne Marshall, one of Elliott’s law students and an amateur detective “wannabe.” Anne is certain that Kathy is being framed and convinces members of her study group to help uncover the truth. Unbeknownst to her cohorts, Anne has an advantage that nobody else has – her father’s ghost is helping her.
Revenge Served Cold is a quick and inticing read. Elliott’s murder happens early on in the story and the police, and Anne, are on the case quickly. At first, the idea of having a ghost help Anne crack the case seemed silly, but I admit that his presence did add to the story. And while the tips he gave his daughter were a bit too convenient at times, his character was definitely fun.
The story originally focused on Kathy Spence and I became engrossed in her story. Unfortunately, her story soon fades into the background and it switches over to Anne Marshall whose adventure then takes over the plot line. I wanted to like Anne but found myself getting very angry with her as she went against proper detective protocol and did things like concealing evidence from the police. Why did she do it? She was sure the police were convinced Kathy was the murderer and would dismiss any evidence pointing to another suspect as irrelevant. But Kathy also had an excellent defense attorney so why not share the evidence with him? While Anne does come to her senses eventually, she also takes some big risks that could end her amateur sleuth career prematurely.
If you like to be kept guessing until the very last page, Revenge Served Cold may not be the right book for you. The murderer is known fairly early on in the story – it’s the characters in the book who must figure it out. Despite these small flaws and a few minor editing problems, Revenge Served Cold is a light, fun, murder who-dun-it mystery.
Quill says: Fun, somewhat silly, with an amateur sleuth who can’t stay out of trouble, Revenge Served Cold is a good afternoon read.