Posted in 4 paws, mystery, Review on March 5, 2016

what the fly saw

Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250048301
Hardback, 336 pages
Release Date: March 3, 2015


Albany, New York, January 2020

The morning after a blizzard that shut down the city, funeral director Kevin Novak is found dead in the basement of his funeral home. The arrow sticking out of his chest came from his own hunting bow. A loving husband and father and an active member of a local megachurch, Novak had no known enemies. His family and friends say he had been depressed because his best friend died suddenly of a heart attack and Novak blamed himself. But what does his guilt have to do with his death? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. The minister of the megachurch, the psychiatrist who provides counseling to church members, or the folksy Southern medium who irritates both men—one of these people may know why Novak was murdered.  Detective Hannah McCabe and her partner, Mike Baxter, sort through lies and evasions to find the person who killed their “Cock Robin,” But McCabe is distracted by a political controversy involving her family, unanswered  questions from another high-profile case, and her own guilt when a young woman dies after McCabe fails to act.



This is a follow up to The Red Queen Dies and I will let you know that I think you should read that book first because part of the book carries over into this one. Not a lot and you probably wouldn’t miss out on too much by not reading TRQD first, but at least you would understand the background in some places.

I learned a few things in this book that I don’t recall from the first book – nothing earth shattering, but I don’t remember reading that Hannah was African American. It doesn’t matter in the scheme of things, but I usually like to picture the characters in my head and don’t think I did that with Hannah.

I like how the crime to be solved isn’t easy to figure out. With this installment I did not guess who the killer was like I did in the first book. I was actually a bit surprised at who it was and what led the police to solving this crime!

I did notice that there were many famous people that are dead but in her book were still alive. In fact MLK Jr was still alive until around 2010 and the MLK Jr holiday didn’t start until about that time – or at least that is my understanding.  As the author says in her Acknowledgements, her world is like a parallel universe to ours.  Plus she also explains what ORB stands for which is Our Reach Beyond and for the orb weaver spider.  Also those that post on the web are not bloggers, but threaders.

I am really liking this series and can’t wait to see what happens next. We give this 4 paws up too.


About the Author

Frankie Y. Bailey is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY). Her areas of research are crime history, and crime and mass media/popular culture. She is the author of the Edgar-nominated Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters in Crime and Detective Fiction (Greenwood, 1991). She is the co-editor (with Donna C. Hale) of Popular Culture, Crime, and Justice (Wadsworth, 1998). She is the co-author (with Alice P. Green) of “Law Never Here”: A Social History of African American Responses to Issues of Crime and Justice (Praeger, 1999). With Steven Chermak and Michelle Brown, she co-edited Media Representations of September 11 (Praeger, 2003). She and Donna C. Hale are the co-authors of Blood on Her Hands: The Social Construction of Women, Sexuality, and Murder (Wadsworth, 2004). She and Steven Chermak are the series editors of the five-volume set, Famous American Crimes and Trials (Praeger, 2004). They also co-edited the two-volume set Crimes of the Century (2007).

Frankie’s most recent non-fiction books are African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study (McFarland, 2008), nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha awards, winner of a Macavity award. She is the recipient of the George N. Dove Award (2010). With Alice P. Green, she is the author of Wicked Albany: Lawlessness & Liquor in the Prohibition Era (The History Press, 2009) and Wicked Danville: Liquor and Lawlessness in a Southside Virginia City (The History Press, 2011).

Frankie’s mystery series features Southern criminal justice professor/crime historian Lizzie Stuart includes Death=s Favorite Child (Silver Dagger, 2000), A Dead Man=s Honor (Silver Dagger, 2001), Old Murders (Silver Dagger, 2003), You Should Have Died on Monday (Silver Dagger, 2007), and Forty Acres and a Soggy Grave (2011). A short story, “Since You Went Away” appears in the mystery anthology, Shades of Black (2004), edited by Eleanor Taylor Bland. The Red Queen Dies (Minotaur Books/Thomas Dunne), the first book in Frankie’s near future police procedural series set in Albany, New York, featuring police detective Hannah McCabe, will be released in September 2013.

Frankie is a member of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Mystery Writers of America (MWA). She served as the 2009-2010 Executive Vice President of MWA and as the 2011-2012 President of Sisters in Crime (SinC).

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