Dead Write (Forensic Handwriting Series #3)

( 8 )

Overview

When it comes to solving murder, sometimes the pen can be mightier than the sword ...

Handwriting expert Claudia Rose heads to the Big Apple at the behest of Grusha Olinetsky, the notorious founder of an elite dating service whose members are mysteriously dying. Drawn into the feckless lives of the rich and single, Claudia finds herself in a twisted world of love and lies fueled by desperation. But is one among them desperate enough to kill?

...

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Dead Write: A Forensic Handwriting Mystery

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Overview

When it comes to solving murder, sometimes the pen can be mightier than the sword ...

Handwriting expert Claudia Rose heads to the Big Apple at the behest of Grusha Olinetsky, the notorious founder of an elite dating service whose members are mysteriously dying. Drawn into the feckless lives of the rich and single, Claudia finds herself in a twisted world of love and lies fueled by desperation. But is one among them desperate enough to kill?

Claudia must find clues in the suspects' handwriting before more victims are scribbled into the killer's black book...

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451228123
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/4/2009
  • Series: Forensic Handwriting Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 818,275
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

SHEILA LOWE is a world-renowned graphologist who has practiced handwriting analysis for more than 30 years. She has served on the board of directors of the Handwriting Analysts Foundation and has developed her own handwriting analysis program. Ms. Lowe lives in California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 3, 2010

    Dead Write

    Claudia begins her day at a pre-dawn hour, heading for a faux news show about handwriting analysis. Thankfully the interview is short and Claudia soon heads home.

    Calling, is Baroness Grusha Olinestsky, matchmaker to the rich and famous, who requests, help analyzing the writing of some of her clients. She promises full payment for Claudia's expenses, and begs Claudia to consider.

    Arriving in New York, Claudia meets with the Baroness. She learns that three clients Shellee, Heather and Ryan, all had died under mysterious circumstances.

    The next morning, she finds the Baroness had been attacked the previous evening. Someone crept into the kitchen and hit her over the head, rendering her unconscious. Discussing canceling a large party the Baroness had planned for Saturday, the decision was made to keep the party as is.

    Meanwhile Claudia receives a picture text on her phone concerning her boyfriend Joel and his attractive partner Alex that concerns her.

    It becomes obvious that someone has a problem with the Baroness and they must discover who is trying to sabotage Baroness Grusha's business.

    Peace again is found with Joel and Claudia when visits her explaining the photo was part of a cover and he is only interested in Claudia.

    During the Baroness' grand party, Andy Nicholson, another handwriting specialist, with a sarcastic and less than honest past, shows up uninvited upsetting the Baroness. Soon, Mindy Jarrett shows signs of having ingested a hallucinogenic drug as does Aisha Negasi. Taking charge, Claudia instructs individuals to take the women to the office until more can be done.

    As the transference is happening, a commotion on the balcony and events unfurl that are best left for the reader to discover. Claudia is suddenly faced with a confession, suicide and even abductions of herself and the Baroness. As time flies by, Claudia discovers who is behind the heinous crimes, deaths, and the abductions.

    Through a remarkable feat of heroism, Claudia saves herself and the Baroness and the man behind the horrific acts is found. This book is suspenseful and an enjoyable read. One not to be missed!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2010

    Intense Reading

    Dead Write - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

    'His choice of pen had already told Claudia something about him. Even before she began to analyze the handwriting, she knew that he cared about the way things looked, that he had an eye for color and texture. And it was unnecessary for her to read the text of what he had written to understand what the symbolism meant in terms of the movement of the writing across the paper, the spatial arrangement, the writing form.'

    Claudia Rose is a handwriting expert. She has been contracted by Grusha Olinetsky, owner of an upscale dating service, to analyze the handwriting of some of her clients. Grusha runs a strict service and if there are hidden personality traits among her clients, she wants to know.

    As Claudia analyzes the writing samples given to her by Grusha she finds several that Grusha should be worried about. Several of her clients have raised what she calls "red flags." But what Claudia also discovers, is that she has been given the files of three clients who have recently died. All deaths seem to be accidental with no police involvement and could be just a coincidence, but Claudia doesn't believe in coincidences. And as she interviews Dr. Ian McAllister, who is responsible for medically checking out all of Grusha's clients, her suspicions of murder grow. But what motive could there possibly be for the deaths of three innocent clients who are just seeking companionship and love?

    Sheila Lowe has been a practicing handwriting expert for more than forty years and her expertise shows in her book Dead Write. As each character was introduced and as each chapter was read, I became more and more involved with the story. This book is so intense that as I read I would find myself suspecting one character only to suspect another as I turned to the next page. It was a hard book to put down. So, if you love a really great murder suspense, this book is definitely for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Forensic Handwriting Mystery

    This is author Sheila Lowe's third installment in her Forensic Handwriting Series with Claudia Rose, a Los Angeles graphologist or handwriting expert. I had not read the first two books in the series and had no trouble catching up with what had happened in Claudia's past.

    Fresh off the heels of a close call with murder, Claudia is invited to New York to analyze handwriting samples for Baroness Grusha Olinetsky, a Russian woman who owns a matchmaking service. Claudia finds herself in the middle of what she thinks are the mysterious deaths of Grusha's clients and her graphology skills are put to the test to uncover a killer. Claudia's attempts to find the killer are thwarted by several suspects and also by Grusha herself. Throw in a little professional rivalry and some trust issues with her LAPD cop boyfriend and Claudia's week in New York turns into a whirlwind.

    I enjoyed this fast-paced mystery and was surprised by a few of the turns it took. I also appreciated Lowe's keen descriptions including ". a human tsunami flooding the streets" in her description of Forty-eighth Street. In this series, Lowe shares her skills in graphology with readers which may well nudge them into checking out her nonfiction books on handwriting analysis. Mystery lovers won't go wrong with "Dead Write."

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  • Posted August 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Strong and Unique Series

    Handwriting expert Claudia Rose is still suffering the effects of discovering her friend's body and attack by the murderer, so it's a case of "getting back on the horse" that has her submitting to the demand by Countess Grusha Olinetsky to travel to New York and consult in her matchmaking business. Although this would mean leaving behind her troubled teenaged ward and her own LAPD boyfriend Joel Jovanic, Claudia is tempted by the opportunity to show up Grusha's previous handwriting expert Andy Nicholson, who perjured himself in a previous court case involving Claudia and has since waged war against her reputation. However, Claudia discovers that even Godiva chocolates and expensive Cabernet cannot distract from the Countess's odd behavior and elusive way with questions as to Claudia's duties.
    Claudia's reservations prove to be justified when she discovers that three of the clients whose handwriting she was given to analyze are dead and that Grusha's consulting psychologist has just been attacked in her office. Claudia's instinct to return home to Los Angeles is stopped short, though, when she discovers that she has reason to distrust the relationship between Jovanic and his female partner. With no reason to immediately leave New York, Claudia is unable to resist meeting with the suspected clients to determine if they may have had a hand in what the police have concluded are accidental deaths.
    If you're like me, most of my exposure to handwriting analysis comes from self-tests in Teen and Cosmo magazine. So it's a revelation to learn from Sheila Lowe, a court-qualified handwriting analyst, that one's handwriting can indicate childhood abuse, past sexual abuse, inclinations towards violence, and even impotence. Its use in behavior modification as well as for criminal and occupational evaluation also proves to be enlightening. Despite Claudia's protestations to Grusha, the handwriting expert throws herself into investigating the clients who were involved with the victims even when her analyses reveal their past tendencies towards manipulation, violence, and sexual dysfunction. Claudia's own history helps to explain her temerity in trusting Jovanic and prevents the reader from becoming frustrated with her often rash behavior. Characters from the previous two entries in this series (Poison Pen, Written in Blood) make only brief cameos, so it's the vulnerable and likable Claudia who must carry this novel. Although the ending seems somewhat rushed, Claudia, the graphology background, and its use in revealing a person's behavior is fascinating enough to carry this very unique and riveting series. - Cindy Chow

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  • Posted July 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another great mystery

    After completing an interview giving her thoughts on the latest misbehaving celebrity, handwriting expert Claudia Rose received a call from a potential new client. Baroness Grusha Olinetsky owner of Elite Introductions would like to hire Claudia to analyze the handwriting of her wealthy clients to ensure good matches.

    The Baroness quickly gets Claudia on a plane to New York from California and once she starts reviewing the client files, Claudia sees more than a few red flags that cause her concern. After a close friend was recently murdered, Claudia is hesitant to be drawn into anything even remotely dangerous but the Baroness pleads for her help.

    Still unsure that anything serious is going on Claudia agrees but she quickly learns that several members of the dating service have died in the past few weeks and although each death appears to be natural or accidental, Claudia tries unsuccessfully to cut all ties with the Baroness. Now Claudia is right in the middle of the feuding playboys who are her number one suspects and on top of that, her relationship with her boyfriend back home is on very shaky ground.

    Dead Write is book three in the Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting Mystery series however it does stand alone. There are a few references to the events in books one and two but you can jump right into this story without missing a beat.

    What I especially like about this book is the plausible storyline. Claudia isn't stumbling over dead bodies and jumping in to investigate the murders like in most cozies. It's a more realistic scenario where she even tries to run away from any sign of trouble.

    I also love the unique premise of Claudia's work as a graphologist. Sheila Lowe has over 25 years of experience in this field but the book doesn't get too technical with the details. She makes it interesting enough that I want to get my own handwriting analyzed along with my husband and co-workers.

    There is a pretty good cliffhanger at the end of Dead Write that leaves me anxiously awaiting the next book in the series which will hopefully be along soon. All three books in the series are a must read for all cozy and mystery lovers.

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