Tilly Quilter, a sassy, opinionated New York fire investigator, knows that something's amiss when a victim's family doesn't seem at all interested in helping get to the bottom of a fatal fire.Tilly Quilter, a sassy, opinionated New York fire investigator, knows that something's amiss when a victim's family doesn't seem at all interested in helping get to the bottom of a fatal fire.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2004-02-09 Edgar nominee Reuben (Julian Solo) launches a new mystery series featuring a young New York insurance claims investigator who will either charm or cloy, depending on how you feel about Nancy Drew. Fritillary "Tilly" Quilter and arson expert Isaac "Ike" Blessing, who happened to probe the fire Tilly accidentally started years before as a teenage babysitter, team up to look into a suspicious claim put in by Faith Browning after her sister Dorsey dies in an apartment blaze. The pair dutifully grill a conventional circle of suspects, including a spurned suitor and a married lover, with the veteran Ike taking much of the lead while Tilly focuses on reconstructing the victim's life. Details of Tilly's temporary jobs before she discovered her calling slow the narrative, while the step-by-step arson investigation proceeds a bit ploddingly. Despite the author's own expertise as a professional fire investigator, her efforts to share the fascination for the minutiae of her craft with the reader fall short. Little suspense surrounds the fire's origin, and the murderer's identity will be unsurprising to most. Tilly's crush on Ike and her na?vete make her seem more like a star-struck teenager than an independent professional. Still, Tilly has an engaging voice that will appeal particularly to younger readers who care more about character than crime. (Mar. 1) FYI: Reuben is also the author of two mysteries, Origin and Cause (1994) and Spent Matches (1996), about arson investigator Wylie Nolan and attorney Max Bramble. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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