[Chapter 7] I parked by the garage and knocked on the back door. High heels clicked busily over the kitchen floor and the next second Michelle flung the door open with a whiff of perfume and makeup. She looked very pretty, dressed to go out to lunch in a little suit that hugged her hips and stopped just above her knees…. I liked Michelle very much.
‘Ben. Hi. Come in. I’m just running out, but what’s up?’…
observations: The pleasures of reading this short series include the vignettes of the 1990s in New England. The two women are wearing clothes very much of their time: power suits, even for social occasions, something less likely to happen now - and look at the shoulders on the lower photo. (However I have no idea what a peaked driving hat is, and it sounds like something that would completely ruin the outfit.)
This is another really good detective story, with a slowly unwinding plot and a good cast of characters: there is a long absorbing section where Ben is trying to fill in the final hours of the dead man, ten minutes here, an hour there, with an update on his mood at each stage. It's a bit of a tour de force: Justin Scott is a good writer and a great plotter – he should be better known.
The hero is a likeable, affable, attractive man, a realtor (UK: estate agent) by trade, who interacts nicely with Scott’s well-drawn women characters (as I pointed out in an entry on an earlier book). This is just an observation: non-American readers are likely to be brought up short by the news that he keeps ‘several dozen’ guns in his house.
In an entry on the first book in the series, Hardscape, narrator Ben’s great-aunt wore a Lily Dache hat, and she’s wearing it again in this book, along with a blue dress-and-pearls ensemble that sounds like the ones in this book – another small-town American mystery with a male protagonist, from the same era.
The books are set in a Connecticut town called Newbury – apparently a recognizable picture of a real town with a different name.
Links on the blog: Bridget Jones was a bit of a power dresser too, with her very short skirt.
The photographs are from fashion magazines of the era.