Saturday, May 08, 2010

Freeze Frame by Peter May

Peter May referred to his latest Enzo Files mystery, Freeze Frame, as his novel reminiscent of the Golden Age of mysteries, and it truly is. It's a story for all of us who appreciate those traditional mysteries with a closed environment, with a limited amount of suspects, and a cold case. Don't worry if you haven't read the previous Enzo Files. You'll want to go back after reading Freeze Frame.

Enzo Macleod is a Scot, a forensic pathologist working as a biologist in France. One night at a party, he made a rash bet that he could solve all of the seven cold cases in a bestselling book by a Parisian journalist. He solved the first three, and the fourth Enzo File finds him heading to Ile de Groix, a small island off the coast of Brittany.

It doesn't take him long to discover everyone knows he's there to find the secret behind a study that has been left just as a murdered man left it twenty years earlier. But, the villagers don't seem too happy to have him there. Once again, the story of murder will be stirred up. And, the primary suspect, who was acquitted, isn't happy to see him either. But, Enzo is only interested in the scientific interpretation that might let him discover why a man died in his study, and what clues he left behind.

This locked room mystery might be twenty years old, but its roots go much further back in the twentieth century. May skillfully combines history and science in Macleod's search. His setting is perfect for the story of this cold case. Macleod himself is an intriguing man, a lonely figure with tragedy in his past, unable to maintain relationships. By the end of the book, Macleod appears even more isolated. Freeze Frame would truly match up with the Golden Age mysteries.

Peter May's website is

Freeze Frame by Peter May. Poisoned Pen Press, ©2010. ISBN 9781590586945 (hardcover), 294p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received an ARC from the publisher, in hopes I would review it.


Bev Stephans said...

This really sounds interesting. I've never read anything by Peter May so this sounds like a good place to start.

Lesa said...

It is a good place to start, Bev. I love cold cases, and this one, with the locked room atmosphere, was perfect as a first read in the series. Good luck in the contest!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm a big locked-room fan, so I'll definitely give this one a go!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Karen Russell said...

I had never heard of this series, but what a great premise! I'm going to start with the first one as soon as I get back from my beach vacation (I already have a stack of books for that).

kathy d. said...

This sounds good. I have not been reading "traditional" mysteries yet I'm not a "hard-boiled" fan, so I read books inbetween these gentres.

Yet I like this blog so much and many recommended books are up my alley.

This one sounds enticing, especially the locked-room aspect. Recently read Sjowall/Wahloo's "The Locked Room," which had such a complicated plot and solution, but creative.

I think I'm assured that if I don't write down titles that they will be here later on.


Lesa said...

I love the locked-rooom mysteries, too, Elizabeth, going back to John Dickson Carr's books. I hope you enjoy it!

Lesa said...

I bought the first one the other day, Karen, so I go back and read it. Enjoy your vacation! I hope you have time to read.

Lesa said...

Kathy, I think many of the books I review are sort of between. I'm glad you're finding some books here that you like! Yes, the titles will be here when you need them.

kathy d. said...

Thanks. There have been a few that I meant to write down but did not and will go back and look again.

Am now reading Donna Leon's latest, "A Question of Belief," sitting in the living room in the sun, listening to Billy Holiday. Couldn't be better; it could be, with a "terrazzini," an Italian sandwich, which is constantly referred to in this book.

Her books don't contain sexual scenes, very little violence, mostly discussion, character development, an interesting plot, introspection, etc.

They're exactly what I like; may have to re-read some. But I think I'll find a lot of new books to read over the summer.

Although I have to keep away from "suspense," or anything with a psychopath or his/her thinking...or I won't go and through the garbage out at night for a week and will keep all the lights on.

Lesa said...

Love your last paragraph, Kathy. I'm not into suspense, either. And, I totally understand that not wanting to leave the house at night after reading a book!