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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Obituary R.I.P. is a murder mystery novel written by Bill H. Reedy. Cosgrove James was a murder mystery novelist who delighted in conjuring up unusual plots and springing totally unexpected endings on his readers, but he was in no way prepared for the unlikely event of his own life appearing to be the subject of an unusual murder mystery. He had been sitting down to a delightful breakfast prepared by his housekeeper, Mrs. Potts, while ruefully making a mental inventory of the bruises and scratches his kamikaze diving cat, Percy, had inflicted upon him from his perch on the circulation fan, when a headline in the local paper riveted his attention. A killer was confessing on his deathbed, and the ever-alert writer in him scanned the story for ideas to be used in future stories, but he was stunned by the tale as it unfolded. The victim’s name was Robert James Allen -- Cosgrove’s own real name -- and he knew he was still very much alive.
Bill H. Reedy’s murder mystery novel, The Obituary R.I.P., is a taut and finely honed tale about a man whose own past has suddenly come back to haunt him. I particularly enjoyed the psychological thriller aspects of this plot as Cosgrove’s own past misadventure seems to parallel the circumstances that the dying Philo Stern had described to his doctor, lawyer and the investigating officers. To add to the complexity of the matter, Lieutenant Bollo, the investigating officer, is Cosgrove’s friend and unofficial consultant for helping give his books authenticity. Stern’s attorney, Thomas More, also does not instill the slightest bit of credibility as Cosgrove tries to make sense of it all. Reedy’s plot, like those of his protagonist, is unpredictable and laced with the unexpected, and his characters are credible and well developed; their interactions are a joy to follow. The Obituary R.I.P. is most highly recommended.