2020 Silver Falchion Finalist

The Mask of Midnight by Laurie Stevens

The Fog Ladies
by Susan McCormick

The Wild Rose Press
ISBN 978-1509227006
Publication Date: October 2019
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The Fog Ladies

Review by Joy Gorence

The Fog Ladies begins with the death of Muriel Bridge. After Sarah James, a medical intern in her twenties, moves into her newly acquired apartment in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, she becomes acquainted with some of the building’s residents. When Sarah accompanies Mrs. Noonan, a neighbor, to Muriel’s funeral, she learns that Muriel’s death was due to an accidental fall. However, Olivia Honeycut, a friend and one of the Fog Ladies, doesn’t think that her death was the result of a mishap. When more casualties begin to befall the older residents in the building, the group, which also includes Mrs. Noonan, Alma Gordon, Enid Carmichael, and Harriet Flynn, they solicit Sarah’s help in uncovering the truth.

Susan McCormick has created a delightful cast of personalities in her novel The Fog Ladies, which includes her protagonist, Sarah James. Sarah provides the remaining group of  five older women, who “played gin rummy on Mondays and Fridays, volunteered at the hospital, and kept each other company,” the moniker the Fog Ladies after Mrs. Noonan tells her “you could count on [us] like you could count on early morning fog.”

Eventually, the Fog Ladies adopt Sarah into their group.  Despite the difference in age between Sarah and the older women, Sarah enjoys their company and begins to believe that the recent accidents may have a more sinister connection. She questions the intentions of some of the tenants and visitors to the apartment building. As the drama of their lives unfolds, Susan McCormick steers her readers through the everyday activities of the building’s residents.

With a series of twists and turns, McCormick builds intrigue through the characters’ interactions.  Each character has his or her own story, which McCormick skillfully weaves into the plot.  Just as the fog lifts as the day unfolds, Sarah uncovers the truth for the Fog Ladies.

Joy Gorence is new to Killer Nashville.  She is an author, world-traveler, English professor (ret.), and avid reader.  Originally from Long Island, NY she now lives in South Florida with her husband, Bill, and their two pampered kitties.