One Coffee With - Sigrid Harald, Bk 1 Author:Margaret Maron Riley Quinn, deputy chairman of the art department at New York's Vanderlyn College, dies a grotesquely painful death when he drinks coffee laced with potassium dichromate, and it's up to Sigrid to find out whodunit. There are plenty of suspects, among them a disgruntled student, a female colleague whose promotion he blocked, another coll... more »eague with whom Quinn's wife was having a blatant affair, and a Hungarian handyman whose uncle left all his paintings to Quinn--paintings that are now worth a fortune...« less
#1 in the Sigrid Harald series: Detective Sigrid Harald finds herself involved with a variety of colorful and offbeat suspects as she investigates a murder in the art department of a prestigious university.
Margaret Maron is an author that I keep meaning to read-- especially after having read and enjoyed her first Judge Deborah Knott mystery-- and I keep getting sidetracked. First published in 1982, One Coffee With takes Maron back to her beginnings as a writer, and her introduction to this newest release should not be missed.
However the novel itself shows her inexperience at the time. The book is so focused on the minute ins and outs of the Art Department that the story takes much too long to get moving. By the time it does, I was almost at the point of wanting everyone to be found guilty and thrown in jail just so it would end.
Only when Maron begins to delve into Sigrid Harald's character does the book begin to come to life. She's closed off and quirky and prefers to be left alone, but she has an eye for detail that's phenomenal. I intend to continue with the series simply because I want to know more about Harald.
One Coffee With may have a problem here and there, but it's also plain to see the promise buried inside the story. It's the beginning of a phenomenal career, and I'm glad to see how it all began.