What the Fly Saw
By Frankie Y. Bailey
Hardback, 336 pages
$25.99 / $29.99 Can.
March 3, 2015
Albany, New York, January 2020
The morning after a blizzard that shut down the city, funeral director Kevin Novak is found dead in the basement of his funeral home. The arrow sticking out of his chest came from his own hunting bow. A loving husband and father and an active member of a local megachurch, Novak had no known enemies. His family and friends say he had been depressed because his best friend died suddenly of a heart attack and Novak blamed himself. But what does his guilt have to do with his death? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. The minister of the megachurch, the psychiatrist who provides counseling to church members, or the folksy Southern medium who irritates both men—one of these people may know why Novak was murdered. Detective Hannah McCabe and her partner, Mike Baxter, sort through lies and evasions to find the person who killed their “Cock Robin,” But McCabe is distracted by a political controversy involving her family, unanswered questions from another high-profile case, and her own guilt when a young woman dies after McCabe fails to act.
About the Author:
Frankie Y. Bailey is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY). Her areas of research are crime history, and crime and mass media/popular culture. She is the author of the Edgar-nominated Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters in Crime and Detective Fiction (Greenwood, 1991). She is the co-editor (with Donna C. Hale) of Popular Culture, Crime, and Justice (Wadsworth, 1998). She is the co-author (with Alice P. Green) of “Law Never Here”: A Social History of African American Responses to Issues of Crime and Justice (Praeger, 1999). With Steven Chermak and Michelle Brown, she co-edited Media Representations of September 11 (Praeger, 2003). She and Donna C. Hale are the co-authors of Blood on Her Hands: The Social Construction of Women, Sexuality, and Murder (Wadsworth, 2004). She and Steven Chermak are the series editors of the five-volume set, Famous American Crimes and Trials (Praeger, 2004). They also co-edited the two-volume set Crimes of the Century (2007).
Frankie’s most recent non-fiction books are African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study (McFarland, 2008), nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha awards, winner of a Macavity award. She is the recipient of the George N. Dove Award (2010). With Alice P. Green, she is the author of Wicked Albany: Lawlessness & Liquor in the Prohibition Era (The History Press, 2009) and Wicked Danville: Liquor and Lawlessness in a Southside Virginia City (The History Press, 2011).
Frankie’s mystery series features Southern criminal justice professor/crime historian Lizzie Stuart includes Death=s Favorite Child (Silver Dagger, 2000), A Dead Man=s Honor (Silver Dagger, 2001), Old Murders (Silver Dagger, 2003), You Should Have Died on Monday (Silver Dagger, 2007), and Forty Acres and a Soggy Grave (2011). A short story, “Since You Went Away” appears in the mystery anthology, Shades of Black (2004), edited by Eleanor Taylor Bland. The Red Queen Dies (Minotaur Books/Thomas Dunne), the first book in Frankie’s near future police procedural series set in Albany, New York, featuring police detective Hannah McCabe, will be released in September 2013.
Frankie is a member of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Mystery Writers of America (MWA). She served as the 2009-2010 Executive Vice President of MWA and as the 2011-2012 President of Sisters in Crime (SinC). Website: www.frankieybailey.com
What I Thought:
This is the second in a series by Frankie Bailey, but can easily be read as a standalone.
Hannah McCabe is the main character in this one, and she is out to solve the mystery of the death of funeral director, Kevin Novak, he is found dead in the basement of his own funeral home following a storm. As McCabe investigates further, secrets about Novak and his family and friends come to light, providing twists and turns that keep the story interesting.
I definitely liked Hannah, and I thin that the story was well written. I did think that the story moved a little slowly, but it still wasn’t difficult to follow.
I look forward to reading more from Frankie Bailey, and give What the Fly Saw 4 stars.