• Title: Ransom for an Angel: A Jeremy Ransom/Emily Charters Mystery (Jeremy Ransom/Emily Charters Mysteries)
  • Author: Fred Hunter
  • Released: 1995-05-01
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 237
  • ISBN: 0802732534
  • ISBN13: 978-0802732538
  • ASIN: 0802732534
From Publishers Weekly The second Jeremy Ransom/Emily Charters mystery (after Presence of Mind) opens with a stunning blonde entering Chicago detective Ransom's office, "framed in the doorway looking as if she had just stepped out of a novel by Dashiell Hammett." Comparisons to Hammett end there, however, in this carefully arranged but unremarkable puzzler. The woman tells Ransom that her murder has been foretold by a psychic, and she fingers her husband as the most likely killer. Several days later, when she's murdered, it seems like an open-and-shut case-except for the complications. The obvious solution doesn't feel right to Ransom, who becomes obsessed with finding the killer even after the case is closed. There are some nice red herrings here, and the sultry Chicago summer setting is skillfully evoked. But too many of the situations remain lifeless-including the scenes between the detective and Emily Charters, "his personal Miss Marple" and "ersatz grandparent." Generally, Hunter gets the most out of his small cast, but, despite the Chicago summer heat lamented by one and all, this remains a fairly tepid whodunit.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Jeremy Ransom is a Chicago homicide detective who fancies himself a modern-day Holmes. His unofficial Watson is Emily Charters, whom he met in the first series entry, Presence of Mind. Emily gently prods Ransom here and there for the information she needs to solve the case, or at least put it in a context Ransom can live with. In this venture, Angela Stephens, a wealthy Gold Coast resident, approaches Ransom and coolly tells him that her death was foretold by a tarot card reader and that she believes the reader. Ransom, ever the intellectual, doesn't accept her tale, but neither does he reject it. When she's found strangled the next day by her estranged husband, Ransom has a real puzzle to solve. The husband is the obvious suspect, but Ransom isn't obvious. As he plunges deeply into the backgrounds of the principals, he unearths enough greed and family revenge to keep Emily quoting Hamlet throughout. Although set in modern Chicago, the Ransom/Charters novels have a very British ambience. It's an odd mix of milieus, but it works very well. Wes Lukowsky

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