The Tangled Web
by Phyllis Falls Rogers
Author House

"Cleaning lady, better mind your own business."

Hank Jasper is murdered in a church within the small and modest town of Bibly. Police Chief Mack Scofield calls in Inspector Sid Maxton to help in the investigation since strange clues keep popping up. Amid the gradually trickling evidence, of high interest to the investigative team is the victim's background. The owner of the largest car dealership in town, Hank may be recognized as the wealthiest man in Bibly. In truth, he is quite a loner. Yet as Mack and Sid continue sleuthing, they discover that Hank's idiosyncrasies carry stronger ties to the town in more ways than just his riches.

Phyllis Falls Rogers creates a crafty plot in her debut mystery. Unique to Rogers' third person narrative is the way she engages her readers from the get-go by throwing in a flurry of red herrings. As the murder of the prominent man begins to create quite a stir in Bibly, Rogers carefully peels away at the facade of the quaint environs to reveal a darker side to its history. That said, the investigative duo is in for one surprise after the other when they have to confront Rogers' well-defined and colorful characters. Ranging from overly sweet to downright sketchy, Rogers' cast will also have readers trying to guess the true culprit.

Utilizing these literary elements, Rogers keeps her narrative consistently flowing by weaving tension throughout—particularly within her dialogue, alternating character scenes, including a slew of twists and turns, and adding a bit of romance—all for the purpose of slowly building suspense during the lengthy investigation, as well as the eventual trial. Closing on a calmer note, The Tangled Web lives up to its title. Kudos to Rogers for writing a fun read!

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