The Passport Mystery
by Eve Grafton

"These people are very professional, and with the killing of the Australian fellow, we believe them to be very dangerous."

Mysteries come in many shapes and sizes. The shape of this one is British, and the size is cozy with a capital C. While mysterious events are definitely delved into and solved, it’s the interpersonal relationships between various characters that take up most of the space from the first page to the last.

Alicia is a flight attendant who comes home unexpectedly and finds her husband, James, in their bed with another woman. She immediately kicks both of them out, refusing to hear any explanations. While brooding over her spouse’s apparent infidelity, she gets word that her grandmother Valerie is in the hospital and needs her help. Alicia quits her job and leaves London with a plan to assist in the septuagenarian’s bookshop. Soon James shows up professing to still love her and shares some incredible information he’s been hiding from her. While they’re trying to work out their marital woes, they both find themselves in the middle of two strange mysteries. The first asks whether or not Valerie was a target of a hit and run driver. The second is concerned with who was putting in and taking out stolen passports from Alicia’s travel bag.

Author Grafton juggles character examination and plot development well. She takes enough time with the former to explore people in depth without abandoning the creation of suspicions and clues that lead to solving the novel’s mysteries. Her prose and dialogue are easily readable and never venture into crude or offensive language. This is definitely a family whodunit. In addition, it’s also the story of how a family-oriented private investigative firm comes into being. Intriguingly, one is left with the impression that this is just the beginning of more mysteries to come.

Return to USR Home