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The Sandburg Connection    by Mark de Castrique order for
Sandburg Connection
by Mark de Castrique
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Whatever you do, if you're a mystery fan and, if not, why not? don't miss The Sandburg Connection. Had a hard time putting it down. Have said this before, I know, but I really do mean it when I say it. Cleverly and tightly written with characters (both good and bad) who carry the story well on their shoulders, this is the third in the Sam Blackman series.

Private investigator Sam and his partner Nakayla are following a woman who is suing a doctor for malpractice. They watch as she falls onto a granite outcropping, and hear her dying words 'It's the Sandburg verses. The Sandburg verses.' This all takes place at Carl Sandburg's home in Flat Rock, North Carolina.

Sandburg's history becomes part of the plot and is woven in with tight stitches. Sam wonders why a woman with excruciating pain from a botched spinal operation would climb the steep outcropping in the first place. He and Nakayla become involved in what they are sure is a murder. They meet the woman's young daughter Wendy and Wendy's goat Ida Mae, one from Carl Sandburg's herd. (If you are ever in the position of having to deliver a goat of its kid, you'll be prepared.)

Sandburg's literary collection is scrutinized for a possible clue to where a fortune in silver might be hidden. An unknown verse of his is turned up and could possibly be a clue to the location. The plot of The Sandburg Connection takes the reader on a convoluted path of murder and mayhem to reach a very satisfying conclusion. Sandburg's history is an added bonus that I found extremely interesting. A very, very good read.

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