The Bug Funeral
A Professor Simon Shaw Mystery
By Sarah R. Shaber
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312322182, 240pp.)
Publication Date: May 2004
Categories: Mystery & Detective - General
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Although there is a murder in Shaber's Bug Funeral, the bugs themselves aren't the victims. In the engaging series launched by Shaber's Malice-winning first novel, Simon Said, the author's amateur sleuth is a professor of history, particularly that of a relatively recent period. In each of the stories, Shaber has set her pleasant, somewhat bumbling and extremely likeable detective figuratively and often literally digging into a happening that could reveal its long-ago tale to him.
But even Simon finds is very reluctant to be involved in the current cry for help from a woman sent to him by a professor friend - a man whose judgment has always seemed before to be excellent. The woman, who amazes Simon by turning out to be intelligent, sophisticated and very attractive woman indeed, confesses that she believes she has murdered an infant in a past life. Although Simon is as skeptical and even scornful as any decent historian should be, the woman's nature herself convinces him to help her. With unexpected finds, and the story makes its way through a path of surprises to a most surprising - and thoroughly believable finish. It's a delightful and challenging game that Ms. Shaber has invited her readers to join; and they'll love it.
Sarah R. Shaber lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her family. Her first novel, Simon Said, was the 1996 St. Martin's Press/ Malice Domestic Contest winner for Best First traditional mystery.