This is post number 24.
This is the first novel of a series by Patricia McLinn.
Plot: E. M. Danniher is reassigned to a low profile news station after her divorce. A young girl asks Danniher to prove her father’s innocence in a missing person’s case. Can Danniher solve the crime before an innocent man goes to trial?
“Shit. What did I expect? Of course everyone knew my business. They probably knew the dollars and cents on the divorce settlement. Along with the fact that Wes was dragging his feet on sending me my share of the proceeds from the sale of our cottage and his buyout of our house in D.C. The house was worth a lot more than the cottage, even though only a real estate person could describe it with a straight face as being on the edge of Georgetown. But it was the thought of no longer having the cottage that dropped a weight below my collarbone.”
Spoilers/Opinion: I had a hard time getting through the first 40% of this novel. The writing is fine, but the plot goes in circles without really going forward until the missing person turns up dead. Most of the clues that Danniher and her new station partner Paycik find are repeated after the body is found, so the first half feels redundant.
That said, the actual mystery itself has twists and turns, with several characters having motive to kill Foster. Until the last 15% of the novel, almost anyone could have killed him, which kept me on my toes. Danniher takes charge of the investigation and asks questions from all angles, whether or not the person she questions is directly involved. Her divorce and move to Wyoming confused me because she took a hit to her career because of her husband, but I am not sure why. Maybe I missed it, but unless her ex was the biggest producer this side of the country, I don’t see why he had enough sway to get her demoted.
I always hate when mysteries or dramas throw in a romance for a spicy touch mainly because the people who write mysteries do not know how to make a romance interesting or relevant to the plot. Paycik hints that he is interested in Danniher and there is a scene involving Burrell, one of the suspects, but for the most part Danniher stays single and focused on her case.The author shows restraint by sticking to mystery, so I commend Patricia McLinn. She also captures the feel of a small rural town well, with the feeling of being isolated yet watched by the citizens.
Ratings: This is a Mystery novel so the ratings are as follows
Problem Solving/ Finding Info: 8/10
Sense of Danger/ Urgency: 7/10
Overall, I give Sign Off an 8/10. Though slow to start, the plot picks up and actually keeps the reader guessing until end.
McLinn, Patricia. Sign Off (Caught Dead in Wyoming, Book 1) (pp. 43-44). Craig Place Books. Kindle Edition.