POE MEETS PUZO - THE WORLD'SHard-hitting veteran reporter Deuce Mora is awakened in the pre-dawn hours and called to the scene of a gruesome hanging to identify the body of a dear friend, an FBI agent on the verge of taking down one of Chicago's biggest Mob operations. Deuce knows it's murder, but the authorities have no choice but to call it a suicide - the death scene was triple-locked from the inside.
FIRST LOCKED-ROOM MOB MYSTERY!
And with that, author Heller, a former journalist and frequent Pulitzer nominee, takes her place with Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the great Edgar Allan Poe himself as one of the few authors ever to pull off a locked-room murder. In this one, half the fun is trying to figure out the locked-room puzzle. And the delight of finding one in a contemporary mob mystery.
The other half of course, is the tenacious Deuce herself, the tough, hard-boiled, and ever-human reporter who goes places the cops don't even know about. And Heller's intricate, action-packed mystery story.
The ill wind sweeping the Windy City has also whipped up two more unexplainable deaths - of perfectly healthy, able-bodied young mobsters,key witnesses about to flip on the top leaders of the Mob operation. Neither the Chicago police nor the FBI can come up with a cause of death - and they've looked at every kind of toxin - but our meticulous investigator, whose stock-in-trade is death-defying leaps of logic, fits together a couple of impossible puzzle pieces. The downside is that the bad guys figure out where their greatest exposure lies - and Deuce quickly becomes their new target.
Enter a Washington reporter who has been following the organized crime investigation for months at its source, in D.C. He and Deuce share a dark secret and he knows exactly where to apply pressure on her demons to keep her on the trail of her friend's murderers. But as the Windy City begins to look more and more like the Chicago of Al Capone days, with bodies turning up in the river and shoot-outs in public places, Deuce discovers she couldn't walk away even if she wanted to. Whoever is at the top - and this is Chicago, so the top is always way up - will stop at nothing to shut down this investigation.
WHO WILL LIKE IT: First of all, fans of puzzle mysteries and locked rooms! Followed closely by admirers of get-the-story-or-die reporters like Hank Philippi Ryan's Jane Ryland and Kelly Lange's Maxi Poole, Chicago private investigators VI Warshawski and Libby Fischer Hellman's Georgia Davis, kickass female detective protagonists like Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone and Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan; and anyone who admires tough-minded women sleuths who're good in a fight.
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Used availability for Jean Heller's Ill Wind
March 2020 : Paperback
February 2020 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition