Eleanor Taylor Bland has become one of the top mystery writers on today's crowded shelves, thanks to the appeal and originality of her lead character, African-American police detective Marti MacAlister, and the depth of Bland's gracefully written--and utterly believable--stories. In this new book, Bland's seventh, Marti's partner, Matthew Jessenovik--Vik--interrupts Marti's honeymoon when the estranged, mentally ill son of one of Chicago's wealthier families is found dead in his run-down Lincoln Prairie basement apartment. Who could have cared enough to bash in the head of a man who lived alone and kept completely to himself?
But at least that murder victim has a name. For this unlikely detecting team must also look into the discovery of a mummy in the closet of a long-shuttered historic theater. Who was the woman, and when and how did she die? The clues they have to go on are few and far between, and the town's secrets seem to be as closely guarded as the boarded-up building--there's no telling what a little light on the subject will show.
And if these high-pressure cases didn't put enough of a strain on their partnership, both cops are confronting problems at home as well. Marti, her new husband Ben, and their children must grapple with the uneasy transition to being a family, while Vik must face his wife's deteriorating health after a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Times are tough for Marti and Vik, and it makes for Bland's best novel to date.