Partly a courtroom drama, partly a mystery, partly a suspense thriller, this novel by Perri O’Shaughnessy (a pseudonym for sisters Pamela and Mary O’Shaughnessy) is a great choice when you’re stuck at home, as most of us are right now.
This is a long but totally absorbing story that checks all the right boxes for a well-written mystery. There is character development, conflict (of course), a real sense of place (eastern California and nearby Nevada in the Lake Tahoe area), some plot twists, a surprise ending, and a well-researched topic that the reader can learn about by paying attention while reading. In this case the topic is opals, which I knew nothing about before reading Move to Strike. I also had known nothing about the culture and demographics of the Tahoe area, even though I had visited it once for a couple of days in 1961. It rained the whole time.
Although this is part of a series, it is perfectly readable on its own. Some people will find it a bit slow and overly long; I didn’t, but YMMW. Not only do the O’Shaughnessy sisters give you a sense that “you are there,” they also make you think about the wide diversity of ages, genders, races, and economic levels of the characters. That also seems appropriate for these times, though the book was published in 2007, which feels like ancient history right now. I had found it in a used book store in Arlington last year, and it was sitting in my TBR pile ever since. With libraries closed, I was so glad to have a reserve of books that I hadn’t yet read — not that I mind re-reading books, since I like to do that as well.
Anyway, if you want several hundred pages of absorbing mystery, this would be a good choice. You can surely get it from your library as soon as it reopens, or you can buy it from Amazon — new for eight dollars or used for pennies!