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Evil in the 1st House: A Starlight Dectective Agency Mystery Paperback – April 1, 2014
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""Lowell's second case lays out a traditional whodunit in a direct and well-balanced manner.""--Kirkus review of Death in the 12th House
""Add this one to your orders. It’s a perfect afternoon read that will provoke smiles. Almost cozy, with a Mr. Monk like ensemble case, this series debut has tremendous potential.""--Library Journal review of Murder in the 11th House
""Lewis's winning debut, the first in a new series, introduces New York City detective David Lowell, a highly intelligent, intuitive sleuth who's also an astrologer... Like Sherlock Holmes, the eccentric Lowell makes deductions that astound or offend those privileged to hear them. Lewis, himself a practicing astrologer, leavens the action with just the right amount of technical exposition.""--Publishers Weekly review of Murder in the 11th House
About the Author
With the help of his able staff, Lowell leaves to track down the missing boy and his mother, who disappeared shortly after the boys were born. But the case is trickier than it first seemed, and Lowell hires his daughter, attorney Melinda Lowell, to protect his legal status.
Lowell is joined by Karen Sweeney, an L.A. police officer investigating the death of her private detective uncle. Using his astrological expertise and common sense Lowell uncovers the sordid facts in this story owing more than a little to the ancient Greek tragedies, as he follows the path to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.
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Top customer reviews
In this third outing, a man barges into Lowell’s office, makes several demands and departs, promising to supply vital information Lowell needs to accomplish a task in a very short amount of time. The new client, a Doctor Edgar Williamson, needs to locate the twin brother of his, the doctor’s, son who is dying. The twin and the boys’ mother have been out of Doctor Williamson’s life, almost since the birth of the children. Seems simple. Do the participants’ charts, clues will appear and Lowell will locate the missing boy.
But what if the information vital to the astrologer’s task is missing or wrong? Distortions, fulminations, and gun shots both obscure and plain reveal paths to a solution. Ultimately a solution is found. It is clever and moral and satisfying. An underlying moral or ethical question is gradually revealed which gives substance to the story.
There are some problems along the way. The author’s style is curiously flat, at times almost devoid of emotion. This is particularly vexing at moments of high drama, such as when a stone killer attempts to murder Lowell. And there are editing errors, not grievous or frequent, but they are enough to pull this reader out of the story when he wanted to be more completely immersed.
Mitchell Scott Lewis
Poisoned Pen, Apr 1 2014, $24.95
In Manhattan Dr. Ethan Williamson offers nationally known Starlight Detective Agency chief David Lowell $1 million in cash if he searches for his missing wife Gloria Greenwood; if he finds her the surgeon will give the astrologist-private detective another million. Williamson further explains they have been separated since just after their twin sons were born. After a nasty fight following the births, she vanished with now fifteen year old Kevin while leaving behind Edward with Ethan to raise by himself. Edward will soon die if he fails to receive a compatible kidney as the lad has an extremely rare blood type and his dad has only one good organ; leaving his sibling as the obvious suitable match.
While working this case and another inquiry, Lowell obtains help from his six foot daughter Melinda the lawyer, hacker guru Mort, office assistant Sarah and bodyguard-driver Andy. Others from California also become embroiled into the inquiry; as nothing is quite like the client claimed.
The third Starlight Detective Agency case (see Murder on the 11th House and Death in the 12th House) is an engaging twisting mystery with the paranormal seeming so genuine due to normalcy brought to the storyline by the staff; for instance Lowell needs legal advice on transplants instead of the stars. As fans, Lowell and his staff accept karma, Evil in the 1st House is a fun fascinating astrological private investigative thriller.