Ellen Hart was named the 2017 MWA Grand Master, the most distinguished lifetime achievement award offered in the mystery community.
The shock that Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless is in for when Chester Garrity, her ex-husband, returns to a city that he swore he'd never see again is nothing compared to Chester's own. After their divorce many years ago, he took off with his inheritance to travel the world, leaving Jane with enough seed money to open her first restaurant, which worked out well for Jane but less so for Chester.
Now he's back and penniless, or as he would prefer to say, between fortunes. He's working an angle to make his next one by selling a priceless artifact recently looted from the Baghdad Museum, but it all falls through when he wakes up next to the dead body of his buyer with no memory of what happened the night before. Panicked, Chester flees the scene, eventually returning to cover his tracks only to find that someone has already taken care of that for him, but at what price?
The Cruel Ever After, the newest Jane Lawless mystery from Lambda and Minnesota Book Award--winning, MWA Grand Master author Ellen Hart, is filled with the intrigue and deception that makes it one of the most engrossing series on shelves today.
At the start of Hart's delightful 18th mystery starring Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless (after 2009's The Mirror and the Mask), Jane's charismatic ex-husband and antiquities dealer, Chester "Chess" Garrity, wakes up one morning with a hangover outside the house of Melvin Dial, an art collector to whom he'd offered to sell a valuable Iraqi artifact, the Winged Bull of Nimrud, the night before. After finding Dial dead of a knife wound inside the house, Chess flees. When he returns to the crime scene with fellow dealer Irina Nelson, he discovers the body gone and a note clearly addressed to him demanding $50,000 in small bills along with incriminating photos. Arrested for Dial's murder, Chess must turn to Jane, who has more than enough on her plate already, for help. Buttressed by distinctive characters and a splendid Minnesota setting, the well-constructed plot builds to a satisfying conclusion.