It is early August as The Breakers: A Sharon McCone Mystery by Marcia Muller begins. Michelle Curley or “Chelle” to her friends was living and slowly rehabbing an old building known as The Breakers. Her parents, Trish and Jim Curley, who are out of the country and very worried, can’t get ahold of her. They got in touch with Sharon McCone and have asked her to check on their daughter. McCone has known her as well as her parents for a number of years and knows that the young lady is smart, level headed, and would not just disappear on her own.

The building dates back to the Prohibition Era and served a lot of functions over the years. These days it is a massive derelict and will require a massive amount of work to restore. Among other strange things inside the building, near where Chelle was sleeping is an area devoted to serial killers and their crimes. A collage of sorts that seems to celebrate the work of numerous serial killers in California. While all are famous in their own macabre way, some are far more high profile than others. What that display has to do with Chelle’s disappearance, if anything at all is unclear. McCone already was disturbed by the building and the gruesome display makes it all much worse. As she investigates, things become murkier and far more dangerous to all involved in the case.


The latest in a long series, The Breakers: A Sharon McCone Mystery is an average book at best. Author Marcia Muller pushes the thing along with a few clues here and there and with her team doing most of the work. This is not a novel of import to the series and easily could have been massively shortened into a more compelling novella. Much of the book just sort of drifts along as the author fulfills a contractual obligation to create a new book in the series.


While it is always best to read a series in order, in this case with its frequent detailed allusions to past reads, The Breakers: A Sharon McCone Mystery   could easily be read by those new to the series. Much of the context provided by the references are to events long ago and is not earth shattering in the consideration of the overall series. They are general information references as opposed to key points where the series turned.


In short, The Breakers: A Sharon McCone Mystery is an average read that scratches the McCone itch for some readers very familiar with the series.


The Breakers: A Sharon McCone Mystery

Marcia Muller

Thorndike Press

September 2018

ISBN# 978-1-4328-5398-3

Large Print Hardback (also available in audio, eBook, and regular print hardback formats)

341 Pages





Material supplied by the good folks of the Dallas Public Library System.




Kevin R. Tipple ©2018






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