Jane Haddam has written a lot of excellent novels. Not a Creature was Stirring was the first Gregor Demarkian novel. If you haven't read it, seek it out. Most of her books revolve around holidays and most of them are set in a certain neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. Down the middle of the neighborhood runs Cavanaugh Street.
Demarkian, a retired FBI agent, lives in an apartment on Cavanaugh Street. Several other people whose names end in -ian- live nearby. There are lots of characters in Haddam's books so you have to pay close attention. But that's good, because these delightful novels in which Haddam writes with such care and affection about this mostly Armenian-American enclave will amply reward the reader. You get a cracking good murder mystery in the bargain, along with crisp writing about vivid entertaining characters and bouncing action.
As one might expect, Bleeding Hearts is set in February, which can be a miserable month in Philadelphia, weather-wise, right around Saint Valentine's Day. What happens at the party thrown by Hannah Kerkorian, however, is anything but saintly. Her new love--and understand that Hannah is no spring chicken--is Paul Hazzard. The year before Hazzard was a suspect accused of murdering his wife. That crime is still unsolved. On the eve of the party, the neighborhood is all a-twitter because Paul's ex-mistress is rumored to be writing a tell-all book which might reveal something about the murder of Paul's dead wife. So, who shows up at the party with a legitimate invitation? None other than the ex-mistress. So they're all there when Paul gets bumped off. Who invited her and why are integral to this intriguing mystery.
It's enough to drive Father Kasparian, Gregor Demarkian, Lida Arkmanian, and old George Tekemanian over the edge! In the end, of course, Gregor sorts it all out for the Philadelphia police and for the neighborhood, solving two murders in the bargain.
This is a very entertaining and satisfying crime novel.