After enjoying a temporary stint at the Bergen (NJ) Evening Star's crime desk, journalist Natalie Joday investigates mysterious letters mailed to the newspaper's inexperienced advice columnist. When her probing uncovers the 20-year-old murder of a political hopeful whose aspirations were quashed by a scandal exposed in her own newspaper, Natalie is pressured into continuing the story. Unfortunately, suspicion falls on a former Star board member and current political candidate recently endorsed by the paper. Mostly sturdy prose and diverting subplots fill the second (following The Hatch and Brood of Time) of a projected four titles in the series. For larger collections.
Natalie Joday, a Bergen County (NJ) newspaper reporter who first appeared in Ellen Larson's wonderfully titled "The Hatch and Brood of Time" is back in another whimsical domestic mystery. A few references to Joday's brother Daniel and his daughter make the opening murky for those who haven't read the first book, but once Joday starts dealing with the internal politics of The Evening Star and the external politics of the county and state, the pace perks right up. As it turns out, the two are intertwined and lead back to the death of a politician whose career The Star trashed 20 years before. And what starts as a joke-- the fact that someone is actually writing letters to the paper's ancient advice columnist who famously has been writing to herself for years--leads Joday to the solution she sought and the possibility of a job as a crime bureau writer, which she hoped to duck. Larson knows her way around newspapers, and around Bergen County. The sense of place is flawless.