Where Echoes Live (A Sharon McCone Mystery Book 11) by Marcia Muller
In some respects this is the pivotal book in the Sharon McCone series because it introduces Hy Ripinsky to the roster of characters. As usual in a Marcia Muller story the mystery element of the plot is well researched and intriguing and all the various strands are neatly pulled together and lead to a satisfying conclusion.
If I have a criticism of the book it is with the relationship strand of the story. For 90% of the book Sharon’s feelings for the two men who are after her affections is developed well, then I feel the resolution of this strand is rushed and tacked on at the end in a coda. In the coda the reader is told what happens rather than being in on the action first hand. This creates a distance between the reader and the characters, which is a shame because the relationship aspect of the story is a vital emotional ingredient of the book. Maybe the crumbling of one relationship and the building of another was too much to include within the framework of a mystery story.
Despite my reservations I still find Sharon McCone the most interesting female sleuth in fiction. She is a complex character with depth, a strong character in many respects, yet underscored with an element of likeable vulnerability.