#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.
First in the Sigrid Harald series and I think this was Maron's first book. Harald is a detective with NYPD back in the day when women detectives were not so common - I'm guessing time frame is 1982 when the book was published. A professor in the university art department is poisoned, and the suspects are plentiful. Harald is the most interesting character and really, the most interesting thing in the book. The pace is pretty slow, with a lot about the politics of the art department that I felt dragged on. POV shifts several times without giving away the murderer and Maron provides some good misdirection. I probably read this first about 25 years ago and while I remember the characters I did not remember the plot.