A Garnick & Paschal Mystery: Book 1
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
What’s a 20-something Union war widow to do in 1867? Start up her own detective agency with a former Reb P.O.W. of course!
Quinn Sinclair, who uses the name Mrs. Paschal professionally, and her wryly observant partner Garnick get two cases on the same day – one to help a man prove he didn’t kill his wife, another to help a lawyer find reasonable doubt that his client killed her ex-lover’s new bride. As the detectives dig deeper, they unearth facts that tie the cases together in disturbing ways.
This tantalizing tale of 19th Century Chicago comes complete with corrupt politicians, yellow-press reporters, gambling parlors, and colorful bawdyhouse madams. At every turn in the investigation, Quinn discovers more suspects and more secret motives for murder.
Not least among her worries, someone seems intent on murdering her!
Devil by the Tail, Jeanne Matthews‘ first book in her Garnick & Paschal Mystery series, is a great start to a brand new historical mystery series. And if anyone knows me, I just can’t get enough of historical mysteries!
Devil by the Tail takes place in Chicago 1867, and as the blurb on the back of the book states, it comes “complete with corrupt politicians, yellow-press reporters, gambling parlors, and colorful bawdyhouse madams.” And each of them has a motive for murder.
Mrs. Paschel, a pseudonym for Quinn Sinclair, and Mr. Garnick have formed a detective agency. Mrs. Paschel trained as a Pinkerton, but as a woman (and a woman of society, thus the pseudonym), has had limited opportunities to use her skills, which is why she has formed a partnership with Mr. Garnick.
The team is approached to investigate and clear an attorney’s uncooperative but seemingly innocent client of murder. Later that day, a man walks in and asks them to clear him of murdering his wife. They had no idea the two cases would later converge into one. Nor did they know the dangers they would face trying to solve this case.
Mrs. Paschal and Mr. Garnick made a fantastic investigative team, but it was their sexual tensions that kept me titillated. I also enjoyed the small peeks into both Quinn and Garnick’s backstory, giving us glimpses a little at a time. The complication of the Civil War and Quinn’s deceased husband fighting for the Union and Garnick being a rebel adds an extra layer of intrigue, and I was there for it!
With so many possible suspects and motives for murder, Ms. Matthews could easily get lost in the details, but she does a great job keeping everything on track and keeping the story moving.
Devil by the Tail is a fast-paced and fun historical mystery that had me turning pages as fast as I could read. This is the first book I’ve read from Jeanne Matthews, but it most assuredly won’t be the last.
Jeanne Matthews graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and has worked as a copywriter, a high school English and Drama teacher, and a paralegal. An avid traveler and crime fiction reader, she is the author of the Dinah Pelerin international mystery series. She currently lives in Washington State with her husband, who is a law professor, and a Norwich terrier named Jack Reacher.
Thursday, July 22
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read
Friday, July 23
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Saturday, July 24
Review + Excerpt at Older & Smarter
Monday, July 26
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Tuesday, July 27
Review + Interview at Books & Benches
Wednesday, July 28
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Thursday, July 29
Review at Novels Alive