AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR BARBARA D'AMATO TAKES CAT MARSALA ON A DANGEROUS ADVENTURE IN THE WORLD OF OZ...
From Hard Road
"Jeremy, do you remember in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, Dorothy had gone to California, and there was a big earthquake and Dorothy, and Jim the cab-horse, and the boy Jeb, all fell down a hole in the earth? And they had lots of adventures? And then finally they came to Oz."
"Of course I remember!"
"Well, this is a lot like that."
"Some of their adventures were scary, Aunt Cat. The Mangaboos, the vegetable people, were going to plant them. And they were chased by invisible bears."
That's a lot like this.
"We're going to have to be brave for a while. And resourceful, Jeremy, because I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."
You're off to see the wizard in this delightful Oz-themed mystery, the ninth in the Cat Marsala series (Hard Evidence, etc.) from Anthony and Agatha award-winner D'Amato. As freelance journalist Cat is squiring her young nephew, Jeremy, around a mythical Oz festival in Chicago's Grant Park (would that such a festival actually existed!), two people die before her eyes, one a stabbing victim. When bullets start to fly, Cat and Jeremy flee through a system of dark and dank tunnels. The pair's creeping along underground, in enforced silence, shows off the author's knack for building suspense. To make matters uglier, Cat's brother and Jeremy's father, Barry, is accused of the first murder by the police and initially by Cat herself. Thanks to Cat's dogged detective work, the real killer ultimately receives due justice through highly unusual means; let's just say the process involves a vacuum cleaner. The Oz festival's activities pay tribute to the imagination of L. Frank Baum, whose books D'Amato learned to love at an early age, while the detailed Chicagoland setting, as usual, rings true. Some "pure" mystery fans may want to skip the lengthy epilogue, an appreciation of the world of Oz by D'Amato's son, Brian, but they'll be missing a fascinating account. Follow the yellow brick road to your favorite bookseller for this one. It's worth the trek.