The Black Thumb

by Frankie Bow


When a violent death disrupts the monthly meeting of the Pua Kala Garden society, Professor Molly Barda has no intention of playing amateur detective. But Molly’s not just a witness-the victim is Molly’s house guest and grad-school frenemy. And Molly quickly finds to her dismay that her interest in the murder of the stylish and self-centered Melanie Polewski is more than just…academic.

I have enjoyed Molly's adventures from the beginning. We've gotten to know the quirks of the other University staff members. We've watched her relationship with Donnie evolve, but never had it been as vacillating as these days nearing their wedding. Donnie's son Davison plays an influential role in the tensions.

Add in a former friend of Molly's who turns out to be more of an acquaintance and perhaps nemesis.
When said friend dies mysteriously, Molly must fight to prove her own innocence. This, and visiting parents, add more layers of tension to what should be happy and relaxed summer days.

Frankie Bow writes intelligent mysteries. It is fun to be educated as we try to puzzle out all the angles and adjust to each change. Some may choose to focus on the Pidgin dialogue, but I find that if you let it flow it is more easily understood. It adds to the atmosphere. 

Surprises near the end involving DNA had me expecting volatile complications in future books.
Even while explained I am not totally convinced this thought won't be revisited.

About The Author

Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.
In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.
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