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The Shades Dripped Red
Peter Kurtz. Longitudes Press, $14.95 trade paper (340p) ISBN 978-1-7324789-4-7
Kurtz’s entertaining second whodunit featuring Atlanta PIs Nick Montaigne and Vern Wister (after Black Jackknife) finds the sleuths trying to connect a recent murder-suicide to a long-unsolved double homicide. Engineer Bertram Ramsey, 68, approaches Chinese businessman Xi Lao Bing at the offices of Bing’s tech company and shoots him in the head, then turns the gun on himself. Journalists speculate that the crime is part of an increase in Covid-related anti-Asian attacks, but a witness account claiming Ramsey said the words “maraschino cherry” before pulling the trigger catches Vern’s eye. From a source on the Atlanta PD, he learns that Ramsey’s twin sister, Irene, and her husband were gunned down in their Ohio home several decades earlier. Local police never cracked the case, so Vern loops Nick in, and they convince Ramsey’s daughter to hire them to see whether the two cases are linked. In Ohio, Nick and Vern dig through the Ramsey family’s past and join forces with a journalist who’s been following the story for years. Kurtz sticks the landing, delivering a surprising-yet-inevitable resolution that will leave readers hungry for the next installment. Harry Dolan fans should check this out. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 05/10/2024

Release date 09/01/2023