When beautiful young widow, Paige Sorensen, is accused by her stepchildren of forging their father's will and handwriting expert Claudia Rose is retained to defend her, Claudia has no idea that she will soon become embroiled in a violent family battle. As she grows to know Paige better, she also develops a mentoring relationship with a troubled young student at the Sorensen Academy, helping her with graphotherapy. A shocking disappearance puts the spotlight on the student, and Claudia is forced to use every scrap of her wits and her courage to discover what happened and whether her young friend is really a brutal criminal.I thought that Written in Blood was really well-paced, with a great cast of characters. The writing is very to the point, maybe even a little basic, but it’s the plot that carries here. It was fun, too, to learn more about hand-writing analysis and graphology.
There were a few plot twists that had me rolling my eyes a bit. Without giving too much away, I found the revelation about the bad guy’s other criminal exploits to be unbelievable.
Fortunately, this was a small blip in what was otherwise a good book.
This is, of course, because I love reading mystery series. To me, they are the take-out food of the book world. There are lots of them around, some not so great, but if you find a place (or, um, an author) that knows what they are doing, it’s so satisfying, you’ve just got to keep going back. Just think of what you get in each book: juicy stories, with interesting new characters in each book, but also the comfort of the regular sleuths and the satisfaction of learning a little more about these favorites in every book. Of course mystery series are popular. (I think the same thing must apply in the TV world, which must explain the near-world-domination of Law & Order and the CSI franchise.)
From reading Written in Blood, Sheila Lowe’s second installment of her new Forensic Handwriting mystery series, I’d say she has done quite well in tapping into this gotta-know-more formula. I definitely want to read the first book, Poison Pen, also starring handwriting expert Claudia Rose, and look forward to more from Lowe in this series.