Reading Level: Adult
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Worldwide Library
Release Date: September 1, 2003
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Periodic Table Mystery series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
“When physicist Eric Bensen is murdered in his suburban Boston laboratory, scientist-turned-crime-consultant Gloria Lamerino is called in to investigate. A former colleague of the victim, her understanding of Bensen’s breakthrough research on hydrogen and superconductivity convinces police detective and almost beau Matt Gennaro that this is a high-stakes crime with no shortage of suspects.
Bensen’s research is a other lode with enormous potential for utilities and big business. But even nasty threats and the ransacking of her apartment don’t deter Gloria from exposing large-scale tampering, deception and fraud by the members of Bensen’s team. When the person with the most to gain from Bensen’s death is murdered, as well, it takes her most brilliant analytical skills to identify a killer — equally determined to make sure this case is Gloria’s last.”
This is the first book in the Period Table mystery series by Minichino. There are eight books in this series and all have been released. This was a bit of a different type of book from my normal fare, being purely a mystery with a scientific bent to it. I ended up enjoying it. I liked the heroine and her background as an ex-research scientist was interesting.
This is one of the few books I have read where the heroine is an older woman (in her upper 50’s). If I am going to be honest here…I had some trouble relating and engaging with her because of her age. She just seemed a lot older than her mid to upper 50’s in the story. Additionally she is supposed to be a strong and forward thinking heroine but given the age of the book her idea of forward-thinking was pretty weak.
This book is also very dated. In the story the super modern technology are things like cordless phones, additionally computers are just entering the scene..
The mystery is okay but fairly predictable. I think the most enjoyable parts for me were following some of the activities the heroine undertook in her post-retirement time. She does talks for schools about science and helps the police department solve cases with a scientific twist to them.
Overall, although I enjoyed this I don’t plan on reading more books in the series. I did enjoy the science themed mystery but the older heroine paired with the dated aspects of the story made it hard for me to engage with both the characters and the story. This book just does not age well given all the advances that have been made in technology in the last 20 years.