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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
A death in a melon patch, a failed suicide that resulted in an angry assault, a stolen treasure, a roadside accident, or was it? Chase has seen a lot in his career as a detective for Scotland Yard. However, he's no longer a detective, not really, but once a detective, always a detective and it seems his sleuthing skills are just as much in demand in a small town in Italy as they were in London.
In Cutting Right to the Chase, author Stefania Mattana has written a series of short stories about Chase the detective, or perhaps really the retired detective. Each story reads like a clever mystery and there's always a story within the story. The plot line seems predictable, but Chase's ability to uncover the unlikely story and the crime behind the story is an unexpected surprise each time. And then there's the surprise ending. Each story ends with a surprise and a somewhat unexplained solution, one that is inferred, suggested, but not fully revealed. Chase is a little bit like Sherlock Holmes as he works through the logic and the unrecognizable (to some) signs to come to a unexpected deduction, and the crime is solved even when, at first glance, there really doesn't appear to be a crime.
This is an interesting collection of short mystery stories. Each story stands well on its own, but as a whole, the collection of stories unravels an interesting character in the retired detective, Chase. Even the protagonist's name seems to suggest a plot within a plot. Very clever stories, very clever mysteries. Very much a Sherlock Holmes type mystery.