Review of ‘Murder on a Stick’ by S.L. Smith

Review of ‘Murder on a Stick’ by S.L. Smith

Murder on a Stick

Virginia Green is stabbed to death by a food stick at the Minnesota State Fair…and no one saw anything. This gives detective Pete Culnane and his partner Martin Tierney a challenge to identify the killer. Rolling up their sleeves, there is nothing to do but follow standard police procedure and interview Virginia’s brood of relatives, sifting through possible clues. Unfortunately, many family members and co-workers have nothing kind to say about Virginia, which makes Culnane’s job more difficult. But he has been there before and after a frustrating week the pieces slowly start to come together in a climax that finally corners the unexpected killer.

Murder on a Stick takes the reader deep into police procedures and interrogation techniques, and what it takes to solve a hard case. S.L. Smith’s background and expertise in police methods clearly shines in this well written whodunit. Culnane’s patient whittling away at possible suspects—which includes all of Virginia’s cranky family—finally pays off, the process keeping the reader guessing until the very end. That process though, also tests the reader’s patience. I wanted to see more psychological drama and tension in this book, and some of the interrogation passages were overly detailed. Providing more insight into Culnane and Tierney’s character would have given the reader a rounded image of these hard-bitten cops, but for lovers of police detective novels, Murder on a Stick will be an intriguing adventure worth exploring.

You can by Murder on a Stick at Amazon.

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