Malcom and Vinn are thrown into another crime-solving murder mystery in Two Lists. After vowing to live their lives as two “normal” professors teaching at the University of Chicago, these two partners in crime (and in life) are called into Vinn’s superior’s office one day. Dr. Emmett Sanders’ brother-in-law, Brandon Mills has been found brutally murdered and Sanders has heard about Malcom and Vinn’s amazing skill sets. He asks them to look into the murder since the police have gotten nowhere in the case. Soon after the pair start their investigation, the bodies start turning up one after another. What does each of the victims have in common? So far, it seems they all belong to a puzzle club called Puzzles Anonymous.
Author Thomas J. Thorson does an amazing job of bringing his characters to life. Vinn and Malcom give off the air of Holmes and Watson, respectively. Mendez, the police officer who gives in to working with the pair (only because he knows what will happen if he doesn’t), still holds a mutual respect yet hostile attitude towards them. Also included are neighbors Leo the Cuban cook and Rebecca/Ted the crossdresser who help Malcom and Vinn with everything from drunken brainstorming about whom the killer is to pretending to be a wealthy charity donor.
The creativity of each of the murders is something that the author took a lot of time to think up. Each murder is staged, some messier than others, and each one has clues to the identity of the person and possibly the murderer. My favorite murder layout was that of the attorney in which there was an orange peel with coffee grounds (as in, grounds for appeal).
The name of the book, Two Lists refers to the method that Malcom and Vinn use to figure out what kind of occupation will be the victim next and what occupation the killer will be. The book is full of puzzles that only someone with past experience of this nature would be able to solve. Malcom and Vinn do an outstanding job of working through the puzzles and even though they make mistakes along the way, ultimately they figure out what is going on.
Two Lists is a suspenseful read that will have any mystery lover quickly turning pages. With a sharp twist at the end, quirky but likable characters, and a bit of gory (but necessary) action, this book is sure to please fans of the great Sherlock Holmes.
|Author||Thomas J Thorson|
|Page Count||286 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime, Thriller|