Comic Sans Murder
A Dangerous Type Mystery, Book #3
By Paige Shelton
Author’s website: http://www.paigeshelton.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Clare Henry’s snowy Star City, Utah, oasis turns deadly in the third Dangerous Type Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Bookman Dead Style and To Helvetica and Back.
The visit of quirky world-famous horror author Nathan Grimes to Star City is especially thrilling for Clare Henry and her grandfather Chester. As the owners of The Rescued Word, a charming boutique shop in town, Clare and Chester specialize in restoring old typewriters and repairing beloved books. They’ve invited Nathan to their shop to use their equipment for his next book.
But all plans to work on the book take a step in the wrong direction when a tourist discovers an abandoned ski boot on the slopes–and the only sign of the owner is the dismembered foot he left inside! Nathan’s writer’s curiosity for all things horror is further piqued after the body of Clare’s high school friend Lloyd Gavin is discovered sans one foot. When all toes point to a class reunion gone wrong, Nathan can’t help but join Clare and her best friend, police officer Jodie Wentworth, as they hurry to track down the killer before more former classmates become Most Likely to Be Killed.
Since the first novel in this series, I have loved A Dangerous Type Mysteries, and Comic Sans Murder is the best yet! While each can be read as standalones, I couldn’t imagine missing one because they are so good. It is the typewriters – I learned on a 1950’s era Royal portable. It is the characters – Clare, Chester, even Baskerville. It is the intrigue tucked into each one, and how compelling each read is.
Clare now runs The Rescued Word, a unique store that offers typewriter repair, repair of print books, and special printing jobs on a replica of a Gutenberg press built completely by her grandfather, Chester. In this novel, there are two kinds of typewriters especially highlighted. One is specific to two characters, an Olympic Splendid portable. But oh, how I would love to see the Hooven, a fancy typewritin’ machine of the early 1900’s that was enjoyable to read about, and showed how well the author researches her novels.
Lloyd Gavin, a brilliant classmate of Clare and her best friend Jodie, is one of three classmates invited back to Star City for a special meeting of the minds of successful classmates. Lloyd had been an eccentric teen, so much so that even though he and Clare were best friends, he couldn’t be a friend to Jodie as well when she and Clare became friends. Lloyd was found murdered by a skier near the slopes. As a police officer, Jodie couldn’t share updates about Lloyd’s murder. Nor could her older brother Creighton, who Clare had once dated.
Lloyd had shipped three of the unusual Hoovens to Clare, most likely hoping to see her and explain why he was giving these valuable machines to her; she had no idea why he sent them since she hadn’t heard from him in years. He now was an even more eccentric, yet brilliant and highly successful innovator.
Nathan is a widely-acclaimed author of horror novels who was going to work out of the Rescued Word for a few days with Clare’s German apprentice, Adal, to produce a special book on the Gutenberg replica. He is also brilliant, and when he disappears, it is clear there is a murderer in their midst…and that is before things get really weird with Clare’s former classmates, including a seance with “a spirit” with bizarre accusations.
The characters in this mystery are three-dimensional; those secondary to the story are as well-defined as necessary for their roles. The classmates involved with the special meeting of the minds are slowly revealed. I especially enjoy Clare and her choice to live in Star City, Utah and work at the shop originally opened by her grandfather. She is dating a geologist, Seth, and they get along well.
I was particularly surprised by the plot twists! Every time I thought I knew who the bad guy/ gal might be, something happened that showed me I was wrong again. Finally I arrived at the right guys/ gals, but not very far ahead of Clare, so well is this novel written. Marion, Clare’s niece, is very helpful to Clare and Jodie with her computer expertise, adding a new dimension to the mystery. The suspense builds throughout the novel, keeping my attention from beginning to the truly stunning end, which still held surprises. Comic Sans Murder is definitely, even more satisfying than the first two mysteries in the series. I highly recommend Comic Sans Murder; Paige Shelton writes in a style to keep the reader mesmerized by the people, the mystery, the setting – and the romance.