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Reviewed by Julia Hopkinson for Readers' Favorite
Susan Cory’s first novel, Conundrum, is a modern whodunit set in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The story focuses on Iris Reid, a 40-something architect, and her forthcoming 20-year Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) class reunion. Two decades earlier at the group’s graduation party, Iris’s friend, Carey, plunged to his death from the host’s apartment balcony and she and her friend, Ellie, have always been convinced that one of their peers was responsible, despite the police’s finding of misadventure. Iris and Ellie consider the upcoming reunion to be the perfect occasion to quiz their classmates for clues relating to Carey’s death - as well as the ideal opportunity for Iris to get her new crush, hunky chef Luc, a catering gig - but they get more than they bargained for when the body count starts to rise…
Being a mystery fan, I liked the sound of Conundrum from the start, and was not disappointed. Susan Cory has created a very readable tale with engaging lead characters and an array of unpleasant suspects to choose from, with the bonus of some smart, funny lines and a warm, flirty subplot between Iris and Luc. The story itself is gently plotted and the clues sparingly laid out; the well characterised leads do an awful lot of talking about the not-so-three-dimensional suspects and a few times it was difficult to remember who exactly was who, without reading back. Cory’s own experience as a graduate of GSD and resident of Cambridge adds some interesting architectural details and some clear and vivid descriptions of the local area to what is an enjoyable and solid whodunit. Recommended.