A Dead Man’s Honor
Frankie Y. Bailey
Publisher:Speaking Volumes, LLC
Paperback: 228 pages
June 5, 2018
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: A Lizzie Stuart Mystery, Book 2
When They Met, Murder Was Only the Beginning
Crime historian Lizzie Stuart goes to Gallagher, Virginia for a year as a visiting professor at Piedmont State University. She is there to do research for a book about a 1921 lynching that her grandmother, Hester Rose, witnessed when she was a twelve-year-old child. Lizzie’s research is complicated by her own unresolved feelings about her secretive grandmother and by the disturbing presence of John Quinn, the police officer she met while on vacation in England. When an arrogant but brilliant faculty member of Piedmont State University is murdered, Lizzie begins to have more than a few sleepless nights. A Dead Man’s Honor is a haunting story that will keep you awake nights, too.
The reader is drawn into the story from the very beginning when meeting the grandmother, Hester Rose, who is being remembered by Lizzie,the protagonist in the story. That opening sets up two very engaging characters in a way that made me eager to read on.
There are two mysteries in the book, the one from 1921 and the current one, and both are well-plotted out and kept me guessing. The story is at its best when the focus is on those mysteries, especially the one in the distant past. Lizzie’s research into what really happened back then brings her in contact with some fascinating characters, such as Alice, a woman who knew Grandma Hester, and those characters add depth to the story. The historical content was equally fascinating.
What I found a little disconcerting while reading were the times the story slowed a bit to go down a path of some sort that seemed irrelevant to the actual story. One of those tangents occurs when Lizzie is thinking about one of the faculty members at the college, recalling a story she’d heard about a gathering that he had to celebrate his new book. His television was broken and, according to the story, some of the guests left quickly to go to a sport’s bar to watch a football game.
Still, that wasn’t enough to ruin the read for me and I enjoyed finding out all that happened in 1921, as well as who killed Richard.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Frankie Y. Bailey is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY). Her areas of research are crime history, and crime and mass media/popular culture. Her numerous nonfiction books include the Edgar-nominated Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters in Crime and Detective Fiction. She is the co-editor, with Donna C. Hale, of Popular Culture, Crime, and Justice.
Frankie’s most recent non-fiction books are African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study , which was nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha awards and won a Macavity award. She is the recipient of the George N. Dove Award. With Alice P. Green, she is the author of Wicked Albany: Lawlessness & Liquor in the Prohibition Era and Wicked Danville: Liquor and Lawlessness in a Southside Virginia City, both released by The History Press.
Frankie’s Lizzie Stuart mystery series includes Death’s Favorite Child, A Dead Man’s Honor, Old Murders, You Should Have Died on Monday, and Forty Acres and a Soggy Grave. A short story, “Since You Went Away” appears in the mystery anthology, Shades of Black, edited by Eleanor Taylor Bland. The Red Queen Dies is a near-future police procedural series set in Albany, New York, featuring police detective Hannah McCabe.
Frankie is a member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, and Mystery Writers of America. She served as the 2009-2010 Executive Vice President of MWA and as the 2011-2012 President of Sisters in Crime. You can visit her on her Website
Please come back on Wednesday when Frankie will be my guest with a post about how Lizzie is not Miss Marple, even though they are both amateur sleuths. And strong women. I like strong women. 🙂