MIXED_SIGNALS_march5thMixed Signals

Jane Tesh

Poisoned Pen Press


233 pages

$14.95 (soft cover)

Reviewed by Laura Hartman


Genre: Mystery

Private Investigator David Randall has his Christmas plate overflowing with problems instead of sweet treats. Mixed Signals starts out with Randall listening to Camden, friend and landlord, practice his solo for a Christmas concert. The sound of Handel’s Messiah is quickly drowned out by Camden’s screams of horror upon finding his friend Jared brutally stabbed to death.

Christmas is pushed aside as Randall is on the case when Boyd Taylor, one of the suspects, hires him to find the real killer. Tensions rise when Camden’s psychic powers kick in with a vengeance giving him reason to believe he might be linked somehow with the murder.

Randall digs deep into the case with the help of his girlfriend Kary. She does the leg work at the library, then surprisingly joins a group of people in Parkland that formed a “Super Hero Society” as “Wonder Star” to help find The Parkland Avenger – who is either good or bad reminiscent of Spiderman – depending upon the opinion of the characters.

Randall has a list of suspects as long as his arm.  The victim was fresh from jail, serving time for breaking into the Parkland Museum of History. The editor of the local paper, his son, a local journalist hungry for the “big story” to cap her career and the Avenger are all persons of interest.

With all of this going on, Christmas elbows in with the arrival of Randall’s mother. Clad in animal prints, mom has changed. All of the residents of 302 Grace Street love her. Her son would rather she hadn’t changed and fears she will talk about his young daughter’s death in a car accident, which he avoids thinking or talking about.

This mystery has twists and turns that all lead to the killer if you pay attention. When the clues were revealed, each little event becomes clear to the reader. I really enjoyed spending the holidays with Randall and Camden in Parkland.

The only fault I can find with this fun read was a bit of confusion about the characters. This is the second book in Jane Tesh’s Grace Street Mystery series. I would have liked to read a page or two of flashback to have more of a sense of where Cam, Randall, Kary and the rest of the residents of 302 Grace are coming from. Little glimpses of each character are sprinkled throughout the book, so it was a treasure hunt finding them.

I am looking forward to reading the first in Tesh’s series, Stolen Hearts to fill in the gaps.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

Copyright © 2013 Laura Hartman