Go to Homepage   Kate Wilhelm: The Casebook of Constance and Charlie, Vol. 1

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsThree Moon gifSt. Martin's Minotaur (Paperback),
ISBN 0-312-24501-7

This compilation of novels featuring psychologist Constance Leidl and retired arson inspector/police detective Charlie Meiklejohn stories felt rather like a reunion. I first met the husband and wife team over a decade ago when I read The Hamlet Trap (1987), a delightful tale of murder, drama, and lies set in Ashland, Oregon -- a lovely little city that I know well. This omnibus includes that particular book as well as Smart House (1989), set on the Oregon Coast, and Seven Kinds of Death (1992), set in the East. 

Book: Kate Wilhelm, The Casebook of Constance and CharlieConstance's and Charlie's professional peers respect their expertise and often ask them to solve criminal cases, which the happily married pair does by various means. In The Hamlet Trap, the grandparents of the chief suspect persuades the couple to travel from their retirement home in upstate New York to Oregon to solve a murder. The trail leads them to some old secrets and some highly involved theater people: producers, actors, and all their hangers-on. 

Smart House brings the pair to Oregon again, but this time they must outwit an electronic house -- and find the murderer before one or both of them become victims too. In Seven Kinds of Death, Constance attends a birthday party for an old friend where murder becomes an uninvited guest.  

Vintage Wihelm, The Hamlet Trap and Seven Kinds of Death have lost nothing over time. The electronic revolution left Smart House far behind, but the book does give an interesting glimpse into the high-tech visions of the early Nineties. As for Constance and Charlie, age cannot wither nor custom stale their infinite variety. Triple your pleasure by picking up The Casebook of Constance and Charlie. You won't be disappointed. 

Patricia White 

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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