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the karmic detective

the cruel ever after

the karmic detective
alex johnston

The Cruel Ever After

The Cruel Ever After, by Ellen Hart; Published by Minotaur Books; Available in Hardcover (2010)

Chester Garrity has awoken from a night of drunken debauchery to discover his host brutally stabbed to death. As if this were not enough, his host was also the prospective buyer of an expensive artifact of dubious provenance of which Garrity has come into possession. He needs to clear his name and his quest will draw in his old friend, amateur sleuth Jane Lawless, as well as a wide array of bystanders with secrets of their own.

The 18th in the Jane Lawless series, this is a labyrinth of intersecting subplots, twists and reveals and it is not always easy to keep track. Most of the characters inspire a horror movie don’t-go-down-to-the-basement-alone-you-moron frustration, stumbling into painfully apparent pitfalls. Sadly Jane has few chances to show off her sleuthing abilities: the resolutions have more to do with karma than diligence. However, the core characters remain fun and for those who want to spend time with Jane and her irrepressible sidekick Cordelia again, the book will be a welcome extension of the canon.

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Authoralex johnston

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