Saturday, August 13, 2011

Murder in Triplicate by Ann Azel

Publisher:           P.D. Publishing

Aliki Pateas has a successful career as a forensic scientist, but something is missing from her life, so she decides to go home to the family she hasn't seen in fourteen years. There are surprises waiting for her there. The family business has grown due to her brothers' hard work and her father has taken in a young woman and her daughter who needed help to live with him. They're the relatives of an old friend, but Aliki will also discover they have a connection to the Pateas family. She can't help but feel herself drawn to Dawn Freeman, and young Mackenzie has a severe case of hero worship for the famous woman. 

Aliki hopes to spend time becoming reacquainted with her family and developing a relationship with Dawn, but she draws mystery to her like a magnet. She finds herself dealing with three cases in a row.

In the first, she has to investigate a plane crash and murder that has significant consequences for Dawn. She also discovers that the famous actress Robbie Williams, someone Aliki has clashed with in the past and who is married to Janet, the woman Aliki thinks she loves, is really her half sister. 

In the second, she goes after a serial killer called the Fire Clown only to have him come after her family. She unites with Robbie to catch the killer, who almost succeeds in killing them.

The third story has Aliki and Robbie working together to solve a murder which they're trying to hide from their wives and daughters. The problem is that all of the women in the Pateas/Williams family have an itch to be involved in solving mysteries and they end up in a comedy of errors that almost has tragic consequences. Through all of this, Aliki slowly comes to realize that Janet is not the woman of her dreams, but Dawn is.

Anne Azel is a well-known retired forensic scientist and popular with people who like to read her online stories. The Aliki Pateas stories first appeared on the Internet and are well developed. There isn't particularly a great deal of suspense to the mysteries, but they are interesting stories and provide some pleasant light reading. The characters are what make the stories worthwhile however. Aliki and Robbie can't stay out of trouble and provide some comic relief, while their partners try to keep them on an even keel, which proves to be almost an impossible job.  

Murder in Triplicate is the type of light reading that would be good on vacation or when you want to pass a few hours.

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