The Sign of the Book by John Dunning (PWBR00156)

Picture of a frog reading a book while sitting on a lilypad with transparent background

Plot or Premise

Cover: The Sign of the Book by John Dunning

Cliff’s friend Erin asks him to go help an old girlfriend charged with murdering her husband. It seems like a strange request considering the woman stole Erin’s boyfriend, i.e. the dead guy, and they haven’t spoken since.

What I Liked

I am a bit of a sucker for stories involving unresolved emotional stories, and the story has a bit of that rolling around in it. There are even BOOKS, gasp, BOOKS involved in the story (shocker, right? The guy had a lot of high-end signed copies of middle-of-the-road scarce books, too many for a small-timer). So of course there are two stories — the death of the husband and the mystery of the signed books.

What I Didn’t Like

There is a bent local sheriff’s deputy who is almost a caricature at times, and the sub-story of the autistic boy is handled a little manipulatively (shows his grandparents are evil, for no real purpose — they didn’t need to be in the story at all — and two other kids that are referred to but hardly seen) plus he isn’t just autistic, more like Rain Man with drawing, of course. And the ending for the murder mystery is written taut, and supposedly riveting, but I just found it ridiculous. 

The Bottom Line

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