Reviews - What do customers think about Murder At Midnight (Monona Quinn Mysteries)?
Another one from a Master Storyteller Sep 23, 2005
Marshall Cook is a master storyteller as evidenced by this suspenseful murder mystery that kept me turning the pages and wishing for more once it was finished. Luckily, rumor has it that Marshall will be coming out with another Monona Quinn mystery to follow this one. The dialogue drew me deep into this small-town community and its characters. The turns and twists of the story kept me on the edge of my seat, especially when Monona, local newspaper editor, managed to find herself in a dangerous situation once again (see MURDER OVER EASY--Monona seems to have a propensity for sleuthing). If you like a good mystery, check this book out!
A polished and entertaining read written by a master Aug 3, 2005
A fellow Madisonian, Marshall Cook has credits in the murder milieu with MURDER OVER EASY and has also published THE GREAT WISCONSIN MANHUNT OF 1961, as well as over twenty titles on baseball, writing, and time management. He is presently a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Continuing Studies. He also edits a newsletter called CREATIVITY CONNECTION for writers.
Beloved priest Father O'Bannon, priest for the small St. Anne's parish in Prairie Rapids, is found with his throat slit by Monona Quinn, the town's newspaper editor. It just so happens that Mo just solved a prior murder mystery, and her husband Doug is worried about her propensity for putting herself into the murderer's paths. Mo quickly befriends Dane County detective Lashandra Cooper, an African-American with an attitude and a heart of gold. Lashandra and Mo are instinctive soul mates, after they settle the question of how to deal with sleuthing in the rural area outside of Madison:
"'Sure seems to around here. Folks stare at me like they've never seen a black person before.' 'It's possible that some of them haven't, except maybe on television.' 'Come on. You gotta be kidding me.' She shook her head, scanning the room. She nodded toward Dilly, taking orders from the Ladies of the Communal Crossword at the big round table in the center of the room. 'Doesn't he ever write the orders down?' 'Can't read or write. But he never gets an order wrong.'"
Although Cook is a native of Almaden, California, he has embraced the Wisconsin Way from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to the rural communities. His obvious prowess as a writer shines through in a tight plot, well-defined characters, and stunning local color. Attention to detail drives this plot that may or may not have been inspired by the real life murder of a local priest that was never solved. Whether real time events have interceded in Cook's tale is irrelevant, though, as his version jumps to life for the reader. His red herring is most believable, and he even throws in a Hitchcockian twist in the end, much to this reader's delight. MURDER AT MIDNIGHT is a polished and entertaining read written by a master.