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A Charm of Powerful Trouble (A Harry Reese Mystery)

A Charm of Powerful Trouble (A Harry Reese Mystery) - Robert Bruce Stewart For those unfamiliar with the series taking place in the early twenties century, Harry Reese is blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with a wife Emmie who gets very excited when she takes part in a murder investigation. Considering that Harry is an insurance investigator, he does get into such investigations from time to time and so does his wife - by extension. Emmie gets really bored when there is no murder to investigate and what she does in this case is completely unpredictable and might not be within the law strictly speaking.

So in the beginning of the novel we find Harry out of work and Emmie being bored. She invited her relatives from province - the Reeses live in New York City. She also gets to plan an entertainment program for them, so Harry knows something unexpected, dangerous, and highly illogical is in store. When a fake Chinese man takes the party into a fake Chinatown to show fake opium den Harry is not surprised. When a fake jealous husband of a fake wife shows up and shoots her fake lover from a fake gun, Harry is still not surprised. When it turns out the victim is really dead, even Emmie who planned the whole show gets surprised. In fact Harry who knew what usually happens when Emmie plans something, appeared to be not surprised - still.

If you think this is all sounds crazy, this is actually the sanest part of the novel. Remember, where Emmie goes logic refuses to follow even when the poor woman tries to do her best. All Harry does is just follows the flow and it gets him into some really strange and unexpected places.

Of all the books of the series this one has the craziest plot, hands down; I mean it in a good sense. I also chuckled a lot when I read the book, so the humor of the previous books is still present, I am happy to say.

A word of caution: to fully appreciate all the twists and turns you really need to be familiar with the characters, which means reading all the previous books, at the very least all the novels: short stories can be skipped. I read every single story in both series (Emmie has her own) and even after this I had some troubles following everything that was going on. For this reason (and a slightly weak ending) I subtracted one star from otherwise very good installment of the series.

This review is a copy/paste of my LeafMarks one: https://www.leafmarks.com/lm/#/books/544081