Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Technically Dead is a murder mystery written by William Meisel. Edward Hoskins was found dead from a gunshot wound in his house in Beverly Hills. He had been shot in the stomach and had crawled over to the telephone to get help. Police Detective Nikki Sharp has been assigned to the case. She's called in her consulting/civilian partner, Archie, a gifted high-tech sleuth whose background with the NSA and experience in cyberspace make him an invaluable asset to the police department in their investigations. Hoskins had declared bankruptcy some time before his death when his company, Involvement, Inc, a formerly hot and promising tech startup, lost ground after the hacking of customers' credit card information and denial-of-service issues crippled his business. His competitor, George Michalopoulos, profited from Hoskins' loss and bankruptcy. As Michalopoulos was listed on the victim's calendar on the evening of his death, Nikki and Archie have started investigating him as their most likely suspect.
William Meisel's police procedural mystery, Technically Dead, is well-plotted and very entertaining. Archie's lack of familiarity with social niceties makes him a refreshing and original character, and I particularly enjoyed his interactions with his computer assistant, Erasmus. Nikki and Archie decide to throw caution to the winds and see where their mutual attraction takes them, adding a strong thread of romantic uncertainty to the plot, which does not distract overmuch from the mystery at hand. Meisel's plot is strong and credible, and the reader is presented with a number of likely culprits and scenarios to consider along with the detective and her sleuthing partner. Technically Dead is recommended for fans of the police procedural and tech genres.