|Kate Wilhelm: The Casebook of Constance and Charlie, Vol. 2|
Martin's Minotaur (Paperback) ISBN 0-312-24501-7
Paranormal elements infuse The Dark Door, which shows an interesting trace of Wilhelm's science fiction background. A serial arsonist starts ravaging the U.S., and the authorities call in Charlie, the well-known (albeit retired) arson investigator, to solve the cases and find the perpetrator. But Charlie finds far more evil than meets the authorities' eyes and fears he's not immune to evil's lure.
A trained guard dog becomes the first victim of Sweet, Sweet Poison. Next on the poisoner's list is the young man who consults Charlie and Constance about the dog's death. The detecting couple know more deaths will follow unless they can stop the murderer in time, but can they convince the local authorities of the validity of their deductions?
Torch Song provides a change of pace by casting Charlie in the role of the accused arsonist who must clear his name or lose everything he holds dear. This makes for an interesting trail of deductions, blind alleys and even more deductions.
Throughout this collection of tales, Charlie and Constance prove a charming, likable pair with foibles and flaws as well as keen intellects. Witty banter, plausible detecting and fresh plots mark all the stories in The Casebook of Constance and Charlie, Vol. 2, and provide the reader with an altogether enticing journey into murder and arson.
Patricia White is the Sapphire Award-winning author of A Wizard Scorned. Her current book, the contemporary PS, I've Taken a Lover, is available from Lionhearted Books.
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