Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Stranger Room by Frederick Ramsay

This is another series where I've been catching up. I read my first Ike Schwartz murder mystery last year as a freebie on my Kindle, and when I had a chance to grab another from the library, I did so. I've not been reading these in order. There's enough back fill in the four that I've read that the reader doesn't feel the need to go back to number one and go in order.

This one is an especially good mystery. Here's what the publisher tells us:
Elderly Jonathan Lydell III is proud of his family history and his house, which he is committed to restoring to its antebellum configuration, complete with a stranger room. Found in many family homes in the 1800s, an attached room with its own entrance, separately locked and kept for use by unknown travelers, it was intended to protect the family from unsavory guests. Nearly 150 years ago, an inexplicable murder took place in the locked stranger room of the Lydell house. The murderer was never caught. But when a new, identical murder is committed in the same room, not even sheriff Ike Schwartz and FBI agent Karl Hedrick can explain it. Why would history repeat itself? What could explain these identical murders? Could the Lydell family history hold the key?
I had never heard of a Stranger Room before, but it makes for a very engrossing mystery read.  The  main character, Ike Schwartz is not only the town sheriff but a retired CIA ageny who keeps having pieces of his previous life reinserted into his "retirement." His significant other is the local college president. They haven't quite figured out their relationship yet - in large part due to the constant back and forth of Ike's roles.  It's a fun series, well-written, and I plan to read more of them.  There are three more stacked on my e-reader, so look for more comments in the future.

Title: The Stranger Room
Author: Frederick Ramsay
Publisher: Blackstone Audio Books (2008)
Narrator: Lloyd James
Genre: Mystery police procedural
Subject: Ancient mystery mirrored in current
Setting:  Western  Virginia
Series: Ike Schwartz
Source: Public library audio download


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