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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Body of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery is a police procedural murder mystery written by Jennifer Chase. Detective Sergeant Hugh Murphy was the officer in charge of the investigation of the body of the young woman discovered by two hikers in a desolate stretch of forest. The bizarre arrangement, and savage treatment, of the corpse was eerily reminiscent of the work of the serial killer who several years ago had frustrated Murphy's efforts to apprehend him before he went underground. To make matters even worse, the crime scene was about to be contaminated by a gusty and soaking rainstorm. Unable to wait for the CSU, he directed a police officer to take photos of the corpse, and several of them trundled it into one of the police cruisers for transporting to the morgue. Murphy's day got even more frustrating when he learned that the District Attorney was getting involved in the case. DA Inspector Kate Rawlins would be working with him, and, Murphy suspected, Chip Palmer, the DA's profiler of choice, would be on the team as well.
Jennifer Chase's police procedural murder mystery, Body of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery, is an enthralling and fast-paced read. I particularly enjoy police procedural mysteries and was pleasantly surprised by this book. Chip Palmer is an outstanding character whose eccentricity works wonderfully with his encyclopedic interest in soil samples and a profiler's innate gifts. Chase's plot is tightly constructed and gives the puzzle-loving instincts of mystery fans plenty of fodder in the form of red herrings and possible suspects to work with. Kate Rawlins, the newly transplanted District Attorney's Inspector, is a grand foil for the otherworldly Chip, and their partnership is engaging and a treat to follow. Body of the Crime is an outstanding mystery novel that was a delight to read from beginning to end. I'm hoping to see more of Chip Palmer and will be watching for future mysteries featuring him. Body of the Crime is most highly recommended.