Author: David Handler
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: February 23, 2016
David Handler's cozy series features mis-matched, bi-racial lovers Desiree Mitry and Mitch Berger. Mitry is the resident state trooper for the seaside town of Dorset, Connecticut. She is a lean, fearless, African American beauty who processes her stress by sketching murder victims. Mitch Berger is a chronically overweight Jewish widower who makes his living as a film critic. Together, they fill one another's emotional gaps, solving crimes along the way.
Handler's 11th mystery novel, The Lavender Lane Lothario centers around a decades-old grudge between the Gant and Swope families. So, when local building inspector Hubie Swope's charred body is found inside the incinerated summer hangout The Pit, owner Sherm Gant is the obvious suspect. As with any good puzzle, though, things in Dorset aren't as simple as they seem.
The Lavender Lane Lothario is an intriguing tale of arson, murder, betrayal and broken dreams. The banter between Des and Mitch, while occasionally a bit overplayed, is engaging and fun. Yet, while Des may be the policewoman, Mitch's hunches and observations lead to the killer. Handler does an excellent job at building to a perfectly logical solution without giving away the perpetrator or true motive.
Prose 'n Cons recommends The Lavender Lane Lothario to anyone who enjoys a clean, well-plotted, entertaining mystery.