report for murder review

Report for Murder is a Lindsay Gordon Mystery, written by Val Macdermid – and my second Diverse Detectives read of October. (Which isn’t going as well as I had hoped, but life has suddenly become VERY BUSY. I hope to read at least one more before October is over, anyway.)

Lindsay Gordon is a journalist, a socialist, and a lesbian – and for the purposes of this novel, an amateur detective. A murder occurs at a posh all-girl’s school, and Lindsay’s friend Paddy is believed to be the murderer. It’ll take a lot of investigative work (with the help of the gorgeous alumni Cordelia) to get to the bottom of this…

The murder mystery itself was pretty good – there were lots of red herrings that really had me going, and there were enough twists and turns to make it a thoroughly enjoyable read. I particularly liked the fact that Lindsay is a journalist, which allowed her to question and psychoanalyse her suspects in a way that a police officer might not be able to. The way she put the pieces together was definitely one of the highlights of the novel.

I’ll be honest, the romance between Lindsay and Cordelia didn’t really do it for me. There were a couple interesting hints about Lindsay’s dark romantic past (it is implied that her previous partner died a few years back), but this wasn’t raised as an obstacle between them. Rather, the main obstacle is that Cordelia is a snob, and Lindsay is a bit too committed to her socialist ideals. (Not that being committed is a bad thing, but – everything Cordelia does is met with snide comments. It isn’t exactly conducive to romance.) However, I will give Macdermid her due for writing a lesbian romance in the 80s.

On the whole, this was an entertaining mystery that was spearheaded by a strong (yet not exactly likeable) lead. I don’t know if I would read any others in this series, but I’m happy that I can now say that I have read a lesbian murder mystery!


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