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However, Merlin's stretch without seeing a corpse ends when he lands the commission to build a garish Hollywood-style mansion in Oak Park section of Chicago for the wealthy Hobart St. Johns, king of the stockyards. Merlin gives Claire, an attractive member of the St. John's entourage, a tour of the wine cellar, only to find the a body hanging from a meat hook. Merlin figures on murder, but the police label it a suicide. Though someone warns Merlin to keep his mouth shut, he risks his life trying to bring a killer to justice.
Keith Miles writes a very good historical mystery that allows the reader to feel the panic and sheer desperation confronting people during the Great Depression. Besides the ambiance of the era, SAINT'S REST stars a unique character. Chicago awes and repulses Merlin based on the observations he makes. Merlin's naiveté adds interesting relationships to an entertaining novel that will bring much acclaim to Mr. Miles.
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Author Keith Miles sets up an intriguing mystery with beautiful Bermuda as the backdrop. The hotel where Saxon is staying is the result of a bidding war that left a lot of angry parties behind--and it is possible that someone is trying to get their revenge. Of course, the murder victim wasn't exactly Mr. Personality, so possibly it's nothing more than coincidence that this is happening on the golf course.
I found Saxon himself to be unsympathetic. While his anger at his ex-wife was occasionally amusing and made him more human, it was also unlikable. As was his treatment of his new girlfriend, Nancy (would he have been as cool if she had been younger than him rather than older?). Obviously not especially liking the protagonist makes it harder to get into the mystery.
Miles is a talented writer and the mystery definitely got me hooked so I am happy to recommend this novel--but I hope that Saxon gets a bit of a personality transplant before we see him again.
While Alan fights to keep his partner in Bermuda and the golf course project alive, his ex-wife flies out to join in the search for their daughter. Jessica's father, a decidedly unpleasant man, also comes to Bermuda. Balancing the kidnappers, his ex-wife, Jessica's angry father, his partner, an attractive woman he met just before the kidnapping, and the hotel management, becomes quite a challenge as Alan sorts through the available clues - hoping to discover a way to bring his daughter back alive.
BERMUDA GRASS is a very well written, engrossing novel. The characterizations are effective, giving the story a compelling sense of reality. The "golf" environment is exploited just enough to capture the reader's interest, but will not turn off those who are not involved in the game. The mystery aspect is handled masterfully. Miles presents several possibilities - teasing the reader with each one - and in the end, delivering a solid and satisfying conclusion.
I highly recommend BERMUDA GRASS.
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