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A Specter of Justice: A Sam Blackman Mystery    by Mark de Castrique Amazon.com order for
Specter of Justice
by Mark de Castrique
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Private detective Sam Blackman has agreed to help his partner and lover Nakayla Robertson conduct a fund raiser for orphaned twin boys. The very big problem with this is that Sam was involved when the boys' parents were gunned down in a courtroom! Their father grabbed a guard's gun and shot his estranged wife. He was then shot dead, leaving the twins orphaned.

Nakayla and Sam decide on a ghost tour to raise money for the boys' college fund. But problems arise. During the tour a body drops from a bridge a real corpse. Dead by strangulation! A legend brought to life! A second murder re-enacts another legend. Evidence in these modern day murders brings Sam's friend's name as well as his own to the forefront as suspects.

The main problem is that no one is sure whether the deaths are as a result of something in the past. Or someone voicing his complaints in a most unusual and frightening manner.

Loved this book for a variety of reasons. To begin, this is a first-rate mystery. Second, it is well-written crisp and to the point. Third, the action takes place in Asheville, North Carolina. I have spent a great deal of time in North Carolina visiting friends. Only got to Asheville once to tour the Biltmore Estate. What a treat that was. To be back in that part of the country, via a good book, was more than a treat. It's another coup for prolific author Mark de Castrique.

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