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Joseph E. Wright was born and educated in New England. He grew up addicted to the British cozies of Christie and Sayres and the American counterparts of Queen and Stout. He was a fan of the films noir of Hammett and Chandler.
His first published novel, MEMORANDUM OF A MURDER (Manor Books) confirmed his determination to become a writer. A short story of his appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.
While trying to write, Joe earned his living as editor for a couple of monthly magazines. In one period of his life, he lived in a gloomy, rambling, nineteenth century rectory in downtown Philadelphia. The dark paneled walls, the wide staircase, the sounds in the night, the people who warndered in and out, inspired his TALES FROM THE WRECKTORY.
Joe has published a trilogy of cozies recounting the amateur sleuthing of Pat Montgomary and Phillis Toner. The first book, THE BODIES OUT BACK, starts this pair off on their new career as detectives when they discover the body of Pat’s next-door neighbor. In their second, they rush off to the seashore when they get a call for help from one of Pat’s early school teachers, hoping to prevent a crime in MURDER IN MARIS COVE. When an elderly cleric tell them of the strange happenings in the middle of the night in an old rectory in downtown Philadelphia, they are faced with catching someone who commits murder in a church in AISLE OF THE DEAD.
His most recent novel, GERALDINE HOUGH'S VERY FIRST MURDER, introduces a middle-aged female sleuth who readily admits she is a hopeless snoop and has finally gotten her p.i. license. Gerry is not above stretching the truth when the end she has in mind requires it.
on July 25, 2013 :
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm getting two other by Joseph Wright.
Suggest a closer proof-reading -- mostly word mix-ups -- the constant bugaboo of all writers. Still deserves 5 *****.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
on Feb. 01, 2010 :
I recently had the opportunity to pick up and read two "cozy" mysteries. One was from a major publishing house, while the other was "Geraldine Hough's Very First Murder" from Smashwords. Against all conventional wisdom, the online-published book was by far the better of the two!
"Geraldine Hough" presents us with a set of vivid characters, many of whom appear to have surprising depth to them. The titular character, of course, is best drawn. Few male authors, in my experience, do female characters very well; this work is a sparkling exception. Geraldine is very much a person you might imagine meeting for coffee; she "rings true", in contrast to the more common detective protagonists. The secondary characters are also nicely layered, and refreshingly far from stereotypes of all sorts.
The plot is neatly woven; the mystery is neither obvious nor artificially obscured (common flaws in a detective story). Instead, the author presents us with the problem real police have all the time: even in the restricted setting set up by the book, there are many possible suspects - and possibly more than one crime! I won't, of course, spoil it here. Suffice it to say that the novel neatly manages to limit the scope of the mystery to the point where it can be artfully detailed, but does not sacrifice realism in characters or situations.
I would also like to add that the novel is both well-written and well-edited. As someone who often winces at the abuse of the English language in the average novel, that's high praise!
In short, I loved the book, I stayed up late into the night in reading it, and I highly recommend it. I look forward to Ms. Hough's second foray.
(reviewed the day of purchase)