The Bad Actor (Laura Magee)
by Glen Ebisch
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432831141
Date: 22 July 2015 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Aspiring investigative reporter, Laura Magee, wants more than writing a lonely-hearts column as Auntie Mabel. Little does she know her advice will involve her in murder and threats against her life. Younger men who take advantage of older women provides the theme for Glen Ebisch in The Bad Actor, the forth Laura Magee mystery.
Laura is ambitious and has a history of putting herself in danger to find murderers. Her suspicions are aroused when shortly after she replies to a letter from a middle-aged woman about a boyfriend borrowing money and refusing to pay it back, she reads the woman's obituary. The police believe her death resulted from a fall, but Laura is not convinced.
Then Laura discovers the former Auntie Mabel was the victim of a hit and run driver in a red car. She suspects that may also have been murder. The woman had replied to a letter similar to the letter Laura had answered.
Supposedly, Auntie Mable's identity is a secret known only to her co-workers. However, after Laura receives a note warning her to leave the deaths alone, she begins to wonder. She reports the threat to the police. Her former lover, Detective Michael Farantello, arranges for a young policeman to tail Laura and watch for any stalkers. The stakes escalate when a red car tries force Laura off the road.
Laura refuses to give up, but also becomes more fearful. The young policeman sleeps in her spare room every night. As might be expected, Laura, despite her failed romance with Farantello, finds the young officer attractive.
When Laura gets Faratello to have a sketch artist draw a picture using a witness's description of the possible killer, she finds the sketch oddly familiar, but can't figure out why. The aptness of the novel's title only becomes clear at the end of the novel.
A prolific author, Ebish has another mystery series featuring Hazel Wilmont and Amanda Vickers, as well other stand-alone mysteries. He provides pleasant cozy mysteries with enough action to hold the readerís interest.