Book Review: Burn Out

Title: Burn Out

Author: Marcia Muller

Reviewer: Connie Barrington

If you are at all into Sue Grafton or other authors with female detectives, you may have come across Marcia Muller.   Muller is often called the “mother” of the female detective story, as we now know it, because her character, Sharon McCone, was one of the earliest (1977) in the genre.   Muller herself is one of the three authors featured in the original “Women of Mystery”, a program about women in mystery novels put together by the California Center for the Book and available on a video from this library.

Burn Out is the newest McCone story.   Sharon’s traveled a distance from her early days as a private investigator (in Edwin of the Iron Shoes), but Muller keeps a great surrounding cast of ongoing characters throughout her evolution.  This book finds Sharon at a turning point, burned out, feeling like she has lost her enjoyment of her work as a result of her recent cases (The Ever-Running Man, 2007).   She has retreated to her country sanctuary, where she is wallowing in doing nothing much.

Fate does not leave her alone, however, as her friend and ranch manager asks her help and she is pulled into a case involving two states and a years’ old rape cover-up.   Without meaning to McCone is pulled into investigating and manages to unravel the case with some assistance from her Native American pipeline.   Fans of the series will want to see where Sharon is headed and folks who enjoy a mystery can just pick it up and follow along.

Check out the other titles by Marcia Muller in the catalog.  They include most of the Sharon McCone titles, another series involving art and ones with a policewoman set in northern California.

If you like female private eyes, and have not sampled Sara Paretsky, you might also enjoy her work with V.I. (Vic) Warshawski.   Together with Grafton and Muller, Paretsky is one of the “Women of Mystery” who helped reshape the mystery novel.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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