The Mother Shadow by Melodie Johnson Howe

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Synopsis

After a suicide, two oddball female sleuths investigate a coin collection that is anything but small change
Maggie Hill’s life has become temporary. Her marriage was temporary, her jobs are temporary, and if work doesn’t pick up, her time in California might be temporary, too. Her latest employer is Ellis Kenilworth, an aging coin expert with a first-rate collection and a tenth-rate family. One morning, he has Maggie type up a codicil to his will, changing the document so that his million-dollar rare-coin collection goes not to his kin, but to a woman named Claire Conrad. By the end of the day, the codicil has vanished, and Kenilworth has killed himself with a shotgun.  When the hyena-like family starts to circle Maggie, she reaches out to Conrad. The heiress is an eccentric private detective who wears only black and white—and whose sense of honesty is as clear-cut as her wardrobe. Together, they fight to protect an old man’s final wish, battling against a family so greedy that they would steal the coins right out of the dead man’s hand.
 

About Melodie Johnson Howe

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Melodie Johnson Howe is a mystery author and former actress. She began writing as a child, composing plays such as "Nevada"--a western that ended with the villain being sent to his room--and began acting in the mid-1960s. For a decade, she worked in movies alongside actors such as Clint Eastwood, Alan Alda, and James Caan. In the early 1980s, she left the Hollywood grind to pursue her dream of writing mysteries. Howe's first novel, "The Mother Shadow" (1989), featured Claire Conrad and Maggie Hill, whom Howe describes as "the female answer to Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin." It was nominated for an Edgar Award, and was followed by a sequel, "Beauty Dies" (1994). Howe is also acclaimed for her short fiction. Her most recent book, "Shooting Hollywood: The Diana Poole Stories" (2012), is a collection of short stories starring a forty-year-old actress trying to make a comeback.
 
Published February 5, 2013 by MysteriousPress.com/Open Road. 263 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Mother Shadow

Kirkus Reviews

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A wry debut that introduces a diffident ""Watson"" to an idiosyncratic (and then some)

Aug 02 1989 | Read Full Review of The Mother Shadow

Publishers Weekly

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``This gem of a mystery introduces the improbable sleuthing duo of Maggie Hill and Claire Conrad, reminiscent of Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin. Thanks to Howe's stylish writing in the hard-boiled traditio

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Publishers Weekly

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This gem of a mystery introduces the improbable sleuthing duo of Maggie Hill and Claire Conrad, reminiscent of Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin. Thanks to Howe's stylish writing in the hard-boiled tradition,

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