Debut author Siverling's mystery is set in fictional River City, California. Jason Wilder, who just wants to be a musician, works for the his mother Victoria's P.I. agency. Hired by wealthy Katerina Sterling to locate her missing husband, Tony, Jason finds him in a run-down hotel at the same time as the police, who arrest him for the murder of a man in an alley behind a Sterling family property.

Humor is never far from the surface as Jason and Victoria investigate the murder in an attempt to exonerate Tony. The constant banter between mother and son adds levity to the gravity of the murder, especially when Jason learns that Tony may have been indebted to the Russian mob, specifically to his wife's uncle.

Jason is an unusual, enigmatic character with an uncanny ability to piece together puzzles. When Tony implicates his sister Jenny in the murder, Jason's professionalism, despite his attraction to Jenny, imbues him with integrity. The captivating conclusion, coupled with the quirky yet honest relationship between Jason and Victoria, makes this a refreshing mystery that is over all too soon. (Jul., 304 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick