Death of a Perfect Man – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘The pump was indeed antique, and it would be a miracle if it functioned. An old beat-up white station wagon with several flat tires sat dejectedly by the office entrance. “Red Rock Inn Limousine” had been painted on its side ages earlier; now the words, in faded black letters were barely recognizable…. Someone tapped on her car window… “Gas?” A thin-faced middle-aged looking woman with longish brown hair pulled back in a tight ponytail appeared from nowhere… Finally the woman said, “You should stop driving now. I have a vacancy. I’ll fix you a sandwich.” Then she added. “I’m psychic, sometimes.”‘
Jada Beaudine’s husband was lost in a boating accident leaving her with a large insurance payout. The insurance company doesn’t buy the death of Terry Beaudine and sends their best man Lyle Elliott to follow Jada and be present when she connects with her still living husband.
After putting up with police and insurance investigators for a year, Jada decided to move from Seattle to Atlanta in hopes of starting a new life for herself. While driving into the Mojave, Jada stopped for gas at the an old resort called the “Red Rock Inn & Cafe.” Due to the lateness and her being physically tired, she decided to check in for the night. But as morning approaches, Jada is drug into the murder of Nick Williams, “the Perfect Man.” For Jada, the nightmare begins again as she helps to solve this murder as well as the murder and murder attempts that follow. Plus, in the wake of these new mysteries, Jada still has to contend with the insurance investigator, a white car that’s following her and whoever is responsible for the attempts on her own life.
M. M. Gornell has done it to me again. As I read Death of a Perfect Man, I found myself being convinced that I knew who the murderer had to be and why, only to find myself doubting my theory. It wasn’t until the last few pages that I was able to understand who the murder was and why. Gornell is truly a “Perry Mason” writer!