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Wings In The Dark

A Jake & Laura Mystery, Book #3

By Michael Murphy

ISBN13: 9780553393378

Author’s Website:  

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra


Witty and stylish in the classic Dashiell Hammett tradition, Michael Murphy’s latest high-flying Jake & Laura mystery features a Hawaiian honeymoon that’s interrupted when their friend Amelia Earhart is accused of murder.

Hawaii, 1935. Mystery novelist Jake Donovan and actress Laura Wilson are in gorgeous sun-soaked Hawaii, but their best-laid plans for canoodling on the beach are interrupted by a summons from famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart. It seems a local businessman has been gunned down next to her plane. In just days, the famous pilot intends to fly from Honolulu to Los Angeles, making aviation history over the Pacific. But now, without Jake and Laura’s help, Earhart’s flight might never take off.

Trailing a killer, the newlyweds’ sleuthing leads to a jealous pilot, a cigar-chomping female officer of the “Royalist Militia,” and a notoriously disagreeable lieutenant colonel named Patton. With a sinister killer lurking in the shadows, it’s safe to say the honeymoon is over . . . and the danger has just begun.


I was pleasantly surprised and pleased in reading this next title in the A Jake & Laura Mystery series. An easy flowing mystery in which the mystery carried through until the end of the story, and this is high on my priority list when reading mysteries 🙂 As with All That Glitters (book 2 in the series), I am again enthralled with the writer’s style…it adds so much to the 1930’s feel.

This story carries on in the life of Jake and Laura. They are on their honeymoon in Hawaii (as they were married by the ship’s captain during their voyage to the islands) and receive an invitation from Amelia Earhart to tour Oahu by air. Jake is not overly fond of airplanes and neither is his new bride, Laura, but this might just be an experience which could later be used is his writing of a future Blackie Doyle book, so Jake agreed to the tour.

I love how Jake is still a bit of a bumbling “guy” with respect to his new wife. He will act in a certain way or say something and almost immediately he knows he has messed up! The plight of a newly married guy 🙂 …:

“How many ways could a sap like me say he was sorry? Let me count the ways. I tried to remember my favorite apologies over the years. When Laura returned, she bounded up the deck steps and past me without so much as a glance. She went inside and slammed the front door, shaking the walls of the cabana.”

I loved a conversation that took place while a reporter was interviewing Laura…one question was directed to Jake during this interview:

“What’s been your biggest accomplishment? You’ve had two careers, a detective and a mystery writer. “ Jake answers “My biggest accomplishment…marrying Laura. She’s one special person. If you write that, don’t make the words seems as sappy as they sound.”

I quite enjoyed the banter between Laura and Jake and was happy to see that while Laura frequently became annoyed with something Jake would do, she did not hold a grudge and her playful, loving side came through.

Amelia discoveries the body of a local business man in the hanger next to her plane one day while taking care of final preparations for the upcoming flight from Hawaii to California. Amelia’s husband and business manager seeks out Jake for assistance in solving the murder because if this is not solved immediately, the flight may have to be cancelled!

Certainly a chuckle when Laura, Jake and Billy entered the office of Kalua Enterprises (after hours):

Laura felt along the top of the doorframe for a key. “Sorry, darling, you’ll have to do your thing. “ Billy clamped his eyes shut. “What thing?” Laura smiled proudly. “Jake has many talents.” I wasn’t sure I still possessed the tools I needed. I searched through my wallet. The narrow file I kept from the old days was someplace back in Los Angeles. “Pardon me.” I plucked a hatpin from Laura’s silver beret. “You’re going to break in?” Billy let out a deep breath. “This…this isn’t legal.”

I certainly enjoyed the naïveté of Billy. I must say though, he became more seasoned quickly while hanging around Laura and Jake! And they made a good team..

While Jake was none to please to be working a murder investigation again during his honeymoon, you could sense that he was once again getting back into the groove of this type of work and began to enjoy himself and the challenges of investigating such a high-profile murder. A pure delight!

The path to the killer was filled with twists and turns. It was a delight to live vicariously through the process that Mr. Murphy took the reader through to discover “whodunit” in this fast paced murder mystery. Thank you, Mr. Murphy for penning such a wonderful gumshoe murder mystery. I cannot wait for the next installment of Jake and Laura’s adventures.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*