Poison Pen (Forensic Handwriting Series #1)

( 10 )


Before her body was found floating in her Jacuzzi, publicist-to- the-stars Lindsey Alexander had few friends, but plenty of lovers. To her ex- friend-forensic handwriting expert Claudia Rose-she was a ruthless, back- stabbing manipulator. But even Claudia is shocked by Lindsey's startling final note: "It was fun while it lasted!"

It would be easier on the police-and Claudia-to write it off as suicide. But Claudia's instincts push her to investigate further, and she quickly finds...

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Before her body was found floating in her Jacuzzi, publicist-to- the-stars Lindsey Alexander had few friends, but plenty of lovers. To her ex- friend-forensic handwriting expert Claudia Rose-she was a ruthless, back- stabbing manipulator. But even Claudia is shocked by Lindsey's startling final note: "It was fun while it lasted!"

It would be easier on the police-and Claudia-to write it off as suicide. But Claudia's instincts push her to investigate further, and she quickly finds herself entangled in a far darker scenario than she bargained for. Racing to identify a killer, Claudia soon has a price on her head-and unless she can read the handwriting on the wall, she will become the next victim.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Suicide or murder? Only the graphologist knows for sure in this dynamite debut, the first in a new series, from forensic handwriting expert Lowe (Handwriting of the Famous and Infamous). When celebrity publicist Lindsey Alexander drowns in her hot tub at her L.A. penthouse apartment, Lindsey's business manager, Ivan Novak, hires handwriting analyst Claudia Rose to look into the authenticity of the block-printed note left at the scene. Ivan believes it was penned by a murderer, not a suicide victim. Claudia, who was once Lindsey's friend before being alienated by her pathologically malicious behavior, isn't surprised to learn that Lindsey liked to blackmail her famous clients by threatening to tarnish rather than shine their images. When hunky LAPD detective Joel Jovanic enters the investigation, the "grapho lady" and the cop make a hot team, in and out of the sheets. The author's large nonfiction fan base augurs well for the series. Author tour. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Handwriting expert Claudia Rose is hired to authenticate a suicide note left by Lindsey Alexander, a nasty former friend found dead in a hot tub. Before Lindsey's secretary can hand over incriminating evidence that proves Lindsey's death was murder, he is attacked. Claudia investigates but is naively surprised (duh!) when someone tries to kill her. Lowe, author of two books on handwriting analysis, could have done a better job with a distinctive plot idea. A predictable and disappointing first effort. Lowe lives in Ventura, CA.

—Jo Ann Vicarel
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451223692
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: Forensic Handwriting Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,257,002
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 4.16 (h) x 0.86 (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 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 12, 2009

    It's all in the handwriting...

    I recently had the privilige of hearing the author speak about her career before turning her hand to fiction. Sheila Lowe has had some interesting experiences in her life, I found her delightful. 'Poison Pen' was very good for her first effort and I look forward to reading her other books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Poison Pen (Forensic Handwriting Mysteries)by Sheila Lowe Claud

    Poison Pen (Forensic Handwriting Mysteries)by Sheila Lowe

    Claudia Rose is a forensic handwriting specialist. When publicist Lindsey Alexander is found dead
    with a letter nearby it is suspected suicide. Claudia is on the scene to try to help find out who did it, she
    is convinced this is not a suicide. Soon people are ending up dead and Cluadia will be next, it is a race
    for time on solving this crime.

    A fast paced murder/mystery. Claudia is very likable, the suspect list starts to grow, which adds to the
    suspense. I loved learning about handwriting, and how it is helpful during a crime. I feel that
    murder/mystery lovers will enjoy Poison Pen.

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  • Posted February 26, 2014

    Artfully presented and engaging from the first page to the last.

    Artfully presented and engaging from the first page to the last. The author knows her handwriting analysis, and that provides interesting detail as the story twists and turns unexpectedly. Highly recommended!

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    First in Series A Great Start!

    Poison Pen: A<BR/>Forensic Handwriting Mystery<BR/>By Sheila Lowe<BR/>Obsidian<BR/>300 Pages<BR/><BR/><BR/>Are you a "forensic" fan like I am? Well, then you definitely will enjoy the debut of Sheila Lowe's new forensic handwriting mystery series, starting with Poison Pen. <BR/><BR/>Through a bit of serendipity, I had the opportunity to read both Poison Pen and the follow-up book, Written in Blood this past weekend--what an enjoyable opportunity! <BR/><BR/>Claudia Rose, our forensic expert, was pulled into action when her former college friend was found dead in her hot tub, seemingly as a suicide. Only her alleged note, <BR/><BR/>IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED <BR/><BR/>did not match the personality of Lindsey Alexander. Indeed, most people who knew her would not be surprised if she were murdered--their surprise was that she had supposedly committed suicide! <BR/><BR/>There was only one man who seemed to mourn Lindsey's death--Ivan, her business associate, friend and executor of her will. From the personal side, Ivan was sure that Lindsey had not committed suicide; from a business side, the insurance company refused to pay on a suicide. There was no choice; Ivan had to convince Claudia that she must help him prove whether the suicide note was authentic. <BR/><BR/>Claudia, as well Kelly, her best friend, had been "burned" once too often by Lindsey and couldn't even pretend to know why they had attended her funeral. But with Ivan's pleas, Claudia forced her memories back to college days when she and Lindsey were still friends and agreed. The one thing she required, however, was hard to find--she needed samples of Lindsey's handwriting in block printing, as the suicide note had been created. <BR/><BR/>Ivan pointed out that this was a very important reason to assume that the note had been faked--Lindsey always wrote in cursive; in fact, trying to find similar documents forced further and further involvement as Claudia worked with Ivan to find needed evidence. That is, until Ivan was murdered! <BR/><BR/>And when Kelly admitted that she was afraid she "might" have killed Lindsey, while she has also discovered that another good friend, Zeb, had written Lindsey a threatening letter, Claudia is pulled in well beyond her original task of authenticating writing. On the other hand, working with Detective Joel Jovanic and finding a mutual attraction developing between them, placed her in a difficult spot where loyalty to her two friends forced her to make difficult choices. Especially when Claudia finds she could very well be the next victim! <BR/><BR/>This is a whodunit that will wrap you tight--into trying to solve the mystery along with Claudia. Even though I was narrowing down my own suspects, I wasn't quite sure what had happened until the very end--after all, among many others, there was the senator who had been blackmailed by Lindsey, or her brother who had once been Lindsey's partner in her schemes! <BR/><BR/>Poison Pen is a page-turner that will keep you reading! Enjoy! <BR/><BR/>And, now...I'm on to reading Written in Blood! <BR/><BR/><BR/>G. A. Bixler

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2008

    Great mix of mystery with real-life handwriting analysis knowledge

    Claudia Rose joins a crowd at the star-studded funeral of her former friend, Lindsey Alexander. Claudia is amazed at the GQ model pall bearers, high profile attendees looking for one more big party, and swarming paparazzi trying to capture the best photo. Claudia, Lindsey, and Kelly had been friends in college. Claudia and Lindsey studied handwriting analysis. Claudia stuck with it while Kelly studied law and Lindsey moved into high profile public relations. Lindsey¿s personal actions and behavior pushed Claudia and Kelly away, yet there was still a lingering attachment between the trio. Claudia would love to see the suicide note found beside Lindsey¿s body due to professional curiosity, but she is not involved in the investigation. She is hired by a mutual friend of Lindsey¿s who suspects foul play. Claudia hesitates to get involved, but finds herself suddenly propelled into the investigation and she has no choice by to follow the myriad of disturbing clues to the life-changing conclusion. Sheila Lowe has crafted a unique protagonist using her professional experience. Claudia Rose is an independent career woman with a tender heart, great instincts, and the ability to deal with scary situations, including romance, as they come at her. Claudia learns from past experiences and gives people the benefit of the doubt for as long as possible. Sheila Lowe is a handwriting expert and the author of the best-selling books The Complete Idiot¿s Guide to Handwriting Analysis and Handwriting of the Famous and Infamous. She is also the author of the award-winning Sheila Lowe¿s Handwriting Analyzer software. A British transplant, Sheila currently lives in Ventura, CA. Poison Pen is Sheila¿s first published fiction and the first in the Claudia Rose series. Poison Pen is a solid mystery as well as a learning experience. The reader is pulled along with the protagonist as she follows the trail of clues to their conclusion, while being privy to some insight into handwriting analysis. It¿s a great pairing.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great ystery

    She is a graphologist forensic handwriting expert whose clients range from business people who want to check out job applicants to police who use Claudia Rose as an additional tool in their crime investigations. Both divergent groups agree she is always on the money with her assessments.----------- Claudia and her friend Kelly attend the funeral of their childhood friend Hollywood publicist Lindsey Alexander, who allegedly committed suicide leaving behind an explanatory note written in block letters. Her business manager Ivan does not believe Lindsey killed herself and hires Claudia to prove it. The handwriting is suspicious since Lindsey always wrote in cursive not print although the deceased¿s sleazy brother gives Claudia photos to prove otherwise as Lindsey printed on them. The pictures do make it quite clear that Lindsey was a victim of child sexual abuse. Ivan is going to makes an out of town trip and finds some incendiary evidence amidst Lindsey¿s belongings. He asks Claudia to come over to his house to look at them she does, but when she arrives she find him lying dead. She takes the flash drive lying under him home to find it contains a spread sheet of high profiles people into kink. Claudia learns Lindsey was blackmailing them so now has a motive for homicide, but whom. Soon someone shoots at her and her house is broken into and is somewhat trashed. Obviously an unknown adversary wants the case dropped.--------- Claudia is a strong willed independent person who persists even while skeptics scoff at her profession as being voodoo forensics. The romance between her and the lead detective adds a personalized dimension to the story line without intruding on the inquiry. Among Lindsey¿s clients are DC and California politicians and Hollywood superstars with the power and money to hire a pro to make it look like a suicide, but who remains just out of reach.----------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2006

    Your writing reveals more than you think!

    This is the first in the Claudia Rose mystery series by Sheila Lowe, a renowned forensic handwriting analyst. Hopefully this will be a long and successful series because the first offering is a riveting, entertaining, informational, and totally enjoyable read! Claudia Rose is a handwriting analyst asked to determine whether a suicide note was actually written by the dead person. While searching for additional samples of the deceased's writing, she quickly finds another body, an interesting and attractive police detective and more fascinating characters (with equally amazing writing traits) than expected. Tidbits of information thrown in throughout the story have prompted me to want to learn more about graphology. The knowledge shared is enticing, not boring, and the characters are real people - with human failings as well as admirable qualities. The tightly-woven and well-paced plot is a joy to read and a sorrow to finish. May Sheila write many, many more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2006

    Poison Pen

    Poison pen grabs you from page one to the end. Who wrote the suicide note? Sheila Lowe has a flair for drama. I highly recommend this book. Entertaining to say the least. Judith A. Housley

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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