This is a connected group of modern-day detective stories about an investigator whose methods are not just quirky or unique, but downright bizarre. However, no one can dispute her record in solving crimes.
Molly Martin is a woman with long, flowing red hair, bright green eyes, and is one of those people who marches to the beat of a different drummer. She lives in a mansion with her assistant, Brian (who she constantly calls Johnny). Martin is a billionaire, so she can afford it. She has a closet full of bags of cheese doodles. The local police detective, Detective Carple, gets a headache whenever she is around.
A man is found dead inside a beautiful old building that has become an apartment house. The body is actually the top and bottom half of two different people, and one of the female residents has, literally, fallen in love with the building.
In the forest, miles from anywhere, five people are found dead, face down in the mud, with their lips and fingers removed. It has to do with some residents of a nearby small town trying much too hard to create the "perfect" town, and a little boy who brings new meaning to the word "creepy."
A woman comes to Martin, very concerned about her sister, living at a local mental hospital. The sister has been making great progress in her recovery, frequently calling and writing letters. All of a sudden, there has been nothing from the sister, for several days. Did she run away? Has she been kidnapped? Is she still alive?
The reason for Martin's different view of the world is that the murder of her family put her in a mental hospital. The director, who calls her in on a case involving the disappearance of dead babies, thinks that she was wrong to check herself out of the hospital. All that Brian and Detective Carple can do is to keep her pointed in the right direction when she, mentally, wants to go off in some strange direction. Throughout these stories, Martin gets strange messages and packages (a salted human tongue in a box) from someone who knows all about her past, and is not afraid to exploit it.
This book contains some really good writing, and the mystery parts will keep the reader guessing. I recall few stories about an investigator who is much closer to actual insanity than the average person. This is different, and is very much worth reading.
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