Saturday, August 13, 2011
Woman Justice by Rosalyn Wraight
Publisher: DLSIJ Press
Woman Justice is not only a mystery that keeps you wondering about "who done it" right up until the end, it keeps you wondering exactly what kind of book it is.
The story begins with the discovery of a pile of bones and Detective Laura McCallister has a mystery to solve. Whose are they and how did they get there? The story of the young man who reports finding them doesn't make sense and she's going to find out why. Laura is an old style detective, a fan of Agatha Christie, and she won't be fooled by false leads.
The scene then shifts to the home of Emily Decker, a famous writer of mystery novels who has hit a block. No matter what she does Emily cannot find the words for her next novel; then she begins to wonder if she's losing her mind when she receives a visitation from one of her characters. Milicent Baylor has apparently stepped off of the pages of an old manuscript and she's angry. She demands that Emily give her a stronger life force, so Emily begins to write stories set around the world for the two of them. As the eroticism of the stories increases, Milicent becomes more viable and Emily's obsession with her mushrooms as she also discovers what she has been shutting out of her own life.
As their relationship grows, Emily loses more touch with reality until all there is in her world is Milicent; then Milicent threatens to leave, which Emily can't let happen. Meanwhile, the clues in McCallister's crime are beginning to point in a direction that might include Emily and/or Milicent. The question is how, because Milicent isn't real, is she?
Rosalyn Wraight has written an intriguing book. It can be exasperating for the reader at first if you have preconceived notions about how a mystery should develop because this story certainly doesn't follow that track. For a while it seems as if Wraight is trying to trick the reader into reading an erotica book by calling it a mystery and there doesn't seem to be any reason to include the storyline about Laura McCallister at all. The Emily Decker story seems beyond far fetched, but the reader should bear with the writer.
It is truly one of those books where everything comes together at the end and makes perfect sense. The pieces of the puzzle suddenly start falling together and it becomes clear that this is the way the story had to be written. The last five chapters of the book create a terrific ending that make Woman Justice worth reading. It becomes clear that there were clues throughout the book as to what was coming that were probably missed or, if noted, discounted in the convergence of the other plot lines. So, when you're tempted to put the book down, keep reading. Like a good dinner, the dessert comes at the end.