16 October 2015

Review: MURDER IN THE FAMILY, Paula Bernstein

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 567 KB
  • Print Length: 190 pages
  • Publisher: M&Z Press (September 11, 2014)
  • Publication Date: September 11, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
Synopsis (Amazon)

Hannah Kline is a successful Los Angeles obstetrician and the recently widowed mother of a young daughter. She is barely managing to hold it all together, when her life is shattered once again by the brutal murder of her beautiful, bright, zany and recently divorced sister-in-law Beth. Detective Daniel Ross of the LAPD thinks the killer had a very personal motive.

Hannah is determined to do whatever she can to assist the police in finding the murderer. She finds herself obsessed with the details of Beth's life, and as she encounters her sister-in-law's eclectic collection of friends and former lovers, she discovers that all was not as it seemed. Not only was Beth a woman with a secret life, but her secrets may have led her inexorably to a rendezvous with her killer.

My Take

The Introduction to this novel makes interesting reading: it gives the background to the story, and tells why the novel is the third published, although in fact it is the first in the series.

The author has done what many others have done: created a fictional sleuthing duo from complementary occupations, but this particular story was based on a true story, the brutal murder of a beloved friend and cousin. The first version of story as a psychological novel remained unpublished, and then came a short story written from another point of view, until the novel in its present form was accepted for publication.

Remembering all that as I read gave me a stronger appreciation of where this novel had its roots, and I think I enjoyed it all the more. I will certainly try to read the next in the series LETHAL INJECTION. I found Hannah Kline and Daniel Ross likeable characters that I would certainly like to see in action together again.

Reading MURDER IN THE FAMILY was prompted by the author offering me a review copy of the fourth in the series THE GOLDILOCKS PLANET.

My rating: 4.3

About the author
Paula Bernstein is an author who likes to think of herself as a multi-faceted career woman. She began her professional career as an academic chemist with a doctorate from Caltech. After realizing that she liked people far more than laboratory equipment, she went to Medical School and spent her professional life as a successful practicing obstetrician gynecologist.
Between deliveries, she has always indulged her creative side by taking courses in writing, interior design, graphic arts and astronomy. Over the years she's also published non-fiction, patient oriented medical books and professional papers, and written fiction for pleasure. Now that she is semi-retired she is busy editing and publishing her short stories and novels. Not surprisingly, her heroines are witty women in interesting professions from medicine, to physics to interior design. She is the author of Potpourri,an eclectic collection of short stories spanning several genres, and of Murder in the Family, Lethal Injection and Private School, the first three books in the Hannah Kline mystery series. Her latest Hannah Kline mystery is The Goldilocks Planet.

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