THE ORIGIN OF MURDER by Jerold last is the latest offering in the Roger and Suzanne mystery series. The book is two parts travelogue to one part murder mystery, all with a nod to famed researcher Charles Darwin. You got the title’s riff on ORIGIN OF SPECIES, right?

THE ORIGIN OF MURDER romps through the capital of Ecuador (did you know it was Quito?) as well as the Galapagos Islands and a run-down Mexican resort. The story, narrated by California private detective Roger Bowman, includes a wonderfully diverse and charming cast of characters: Roger’s brainy wife Suzanne, their gay ex-Seal nanny named Bruce, an Ecuadoran general, and a Paraguayan cop who moonlights as a Mossad spy. And those are just the good guys!

As in Last’s previous novel in the series, THE DEADLY DOG SHOW, the setting is the heart of the book. Both Quito’s charms and slums are described and the reader gets a healthy dose  of major historical locations. When the action moves to the Galapagos, the author spares no effort to put the reader right there, with exceptional descriptions of the islands’ unique bird life, terrain, and access by boat. The mystery is woven throughout but the magnificent setting is what really drives the narrative.

A favorite element of the book was the way each chapter begins with a relevant quote from Charles Darwin’s ORIGIN OF SPECIES, written while Darwin was cruising the Galapagos on the HMS Beagle in the early 1800’s. Last’s choice of quotes is perfect in every case, so that the action is presaged and the reader understands the clarity of Darwin’s observations as well.

THE ORIGIN OF MURDER is a great book for armchair travelers, anyone interested in Ecuador, and is a must-read before your next expedition to the Galapagos–either real or virtual!

0 Comments

More from the blog

A Tale of Two Murders, courtesy of the John Feit trial

A few days ago I got an email from Josh Gaynor, a producer for the CBS show 48 Hours. He had run across my short story “The Angler” about the 2007 murder of Father Richard Junius in Mexico City. Father Richard was the pastor of Saint Patrick’s Church when I was...

read more

The real story behind 43 MISSING

43 MISSING, the latest Detective Emilia Cruz novel, is fiction but is based on a true, unsolved crime. A big, terrible, words-fail-me unsolved crime. 43 Missing In September 2014, forty-three students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School disappeared while in...

read more

Pre-Order New Detective Emilia Cruz #Mystery

43 MISSING, Detective Emilia Cruz Book 6, is available to pre-order at the discount price of $1.99 for Kindle. The preorder price will be in effect until Thursday 16 November when the book is published. If you preorder the Kindle version, it will appear on...

read more

Be an Influencer

Write book reviews that matter with the 5 Sentence Book Review Cheatsheet

Get the downloadable PDF Book Review Cheatsheet, complete with simple outline, instructions, and an example to follow.

 

Learn the basics of fast, influential reviews

Setting

Characters

Style

Rating

You’ll also be subscribed to the monthly Mystery Ahead newsletter, with author interviews, mystery reviews, and writing tips delivered fresh to your inbox every month.

© 2017 Carmen Amato.

Hello

I'm author Carmen Amato. I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat.  More

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

#share #thank you