In David Housewright's next hardboiled mysterySomething Wicked, Rushmore McKenzie, who promised to retire after his last nearly-fatal case, gets talked into doing an old friend a favor involving a castle, a family fighting over an inheritance, and at least one mysterious death.
Rushmore McKenzie was a detective with the St. Paul, Minnesota PD until unlikely events made him first a millionaire and then a retiree. Since then, he's been an occasional unofficial private investigator - looking into things for friends and friends of friends - until his most recent case put him into a coma and nearly into a coffin. Now, at the insistence of his better half Nina Truhler, he is again retired.
That is, until a friend of Nina finds herself in dire straights and in desperate need of a favor. Jenness Crawford's grandmother owned the family castle - a nineteenth century castle that has been operating as a hotel and resort for over a hundred years. Since her grandmother's death, the heirs have been squabbling over what to do with it. Some want to keep it in the family and running as a hotel. Some want to sell it and reap the millions a developer will pay for it. And Jenness is convinced that someone - probably in the latter group - killed her grandmother. A conclusion with which the police do not agree. Now McKenzie finds himself back in action, trapped in a castle filled with feuding relatives with conflicting agendas, long serving retainers, and a possible murderer. And if McKenzie makes one wrong move, it could be lights out.
Edgar winner Housewright's entertaining 19th novel featuring unlicensed Twin Cities PI Rushmore McKenzie finds McKenzie, who nearly died after being shot in 2021's What Doesn't Kill Us, ready to retire. McKenzie's wife, Nina Truhler, has other plans for him after a former colleague of hers, Jenness Crawford, asks for help. Jenness's family owns a castle built in 1883 that they operate as a resort hotel in Redding, Minn. Due to the pandemic, the hotel has struggled, and the family has argued over what to do with the property. Jenness wants to keep the hotel operating, but she suspects one of the family members who want to cash out may have killed her grandmother a month earlier. McKenzie and Nina travel to Redding to investigate. Housewright vividly depicts the lakeside castle and the surrounding area while nicely integrating the pandemic into the plot, addressing some of the catastrophic effects it has had on restaurants and hotels. As usual, the main draw is McKenzie, with his dry sense of humor, keen intelligence, and moral code. New and established fans will be pleased. Agent: Alison Picard, Alison J. Picard Agency.