A muggy July weekend in Toronto. A house party with a disparate assortment of guests. A tired police inspector and his rookie partner. And murder.
“Reminiscent of the best Agatha Christie had to offer… Humor, complications, and characters so real that you can just about touch them and smell their sweat.” —Midwest Book Review
The first in a classic police procedural series of traditional whodunits set in contemporary Toronto.
Homicide inspector Paul Manziuk wants nothing more than a few days R and R to recharge his brain.
Constable Jacqueline Ryan believes she owes her promotion to the Homicide Squad to being a black woman, and that she’ll do a better job of proving she belongs there if she can avoid working with the no-nonsense, intimidating Manziuk.
Senior corporate lawyer George Brodie and his wife Ellen want their son to marry a nice girl and settle down. To that end, Ellen invited the auburn-haired daughter of a distant relative for the July long weekend. But her plans go sadly awry when George invites his junior partners and their wives, and their son brings along his roommate—a ladies’ man.
Jillian Martin, the spoiled young wife of one of George’s partners, looks forward to being the center of attention at the house party. But first her husband insists they take along her disgusting older sister; then an old flame seems to be more interested by a boring religious do-gooder and an experienced older man makes fun of her. The last straw is when the jealous wife of another partner dares to challenge her.
After Jillian's lifeless body is found in one of the gardens on the estate, chaos ensues.
Manziuk and Ryan are given the case, and it isn’t long before Manziuk feels he’s been thrust into an Agatha Christie novel where everyone has a motive and it’s necessary to sort through numerous baffling clues and conflicting alibis to find the truth. However, he’s no Hercule Poirot, and Ryan is definitely not Miss Marple.
The Manziuk and Ryan Mysteries in order:
-Shaded Light: The Case of the Tactless Trophy Wife
- Glitter of Diamonds: The Case of the Reckless Radio Host
- Shadow of a Butterfly: The Case of the Harmless Old Woman (coming May 15th)
Short stories by J. A. Menzies
-“The Case of the Sneezing Accountant: A Manziuk and Ryan Short Story”
-“The Day Time Stood Still”
-“They Can’t Take That Away From Me”
-“Revenge So Sweet”
*Originally published as Shaded Light by N. J. Lindquist
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About the Author
While I’d hate to stumble on a real body under any circumstances, I have a thing about noticing the “perfect” locations for finding mythical bodies. In order not to waste this fascinating (and hopefully, unusual) skill, I decided to write mysteries.
I’m a member of various writers’ organizations, including Sisters in Crime and Crime Writers of Canada. I also teach workshops for writers. I especially enjoy sharing some of my secrets on developing plots. (One of my favorite reviews, from Library Journal, called me a “master of plotting.”)