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Stranger Room    by Frederick Ramsay Amazon.com order for
Stranger Room
by Frederick Ramsay
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In this fifth book, Stranger Room, by Frederick Ramsey, Jewish Ike Schwartz and black FBI agent Karl Hedrick must not only solve the crime of murder but tolerate bigotry in a small town in Virginia. Because they are newcomers, they are suspicious in the town's eyes and must be watched, not welcomed.

When a man is killed in a locked room, Ike and Karl are faced with an inexplicable crime. It mirrors a murder that occurred 150 years before in the same room. The owner of the house is a cantankerous old geezer who feels there are few in the world who are on the same social standing as he is. Therefore, he should not have to deal with anyone if he doesn't care to.

Warning! This is a hard book to put down. I read it in almost one sitting. It reads simply, its dialogue creating a feeling that the reader is in the same room as the characters. The dialogue is easy going, with a great sense of humor and a good feel for how things are. The characters? Wow! What a diversity. But it works. There's some really good action and also there is time for a touch of romance.

I especially liked the conversation on bigotry the author had some good words to say on the subject without lecturing. Made one think. And agree. Stranger Room is a good book.

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