CONUNDRUM by Susan Cory

conundrumIris Reid is an architect.  Her graduating group is a bunch of nasty, greedy, ambitious pricks.  Gee, are all architects like this?  I hope not.

At the graduation party, a quiet, nerdy genius of whom everyone (with the exception, natch, of Iris) is wildly jealous, falls off the balcony of the party condo and dies.  Police determine that he had drugs in his system, and so became disoriented and tumbled over.  Iris is sure that is wrong, because the young man never took drugs, ever.

Fast forward twenty years, and Iris is finishing up the design and construction of a multi-kabillion dollar house for a classmate who abandoned architecture to become a businessman.   Yeah, gee, how nice for her.  Let’s see, another classmate is a star writer for a shelter porn mag, who may feature the house on the cover of her mag.

A class reunion is scheduled and a dinner party will be held in the fancy schmancy house. Iris’ boyfriend back in college, a horn dog if there ever was one, and with whom she broke up right before the party, and with whom she hasn’t spoken  in those intervening twenty years, calls her to set up a meeting to discuss an old school he wants to convert to condos in San Francisco.  He never shows for their meeting, and is found murdered.

Then the guy she built the house for is found dead in his wine cooler room.  So now we have three deaths – the student, Will the ex boyfriend, and the millionaire house builder.  Hmmm.  Couuuuuuulllllldddd they be connected?  Can we say obvious, boys and girls?

An OKAY mystery, not all that great.  The over-the-top annoying fellow student and his over-the-top snarky unpleasant wife turn out to be involved in the events, no big surprise, and the dead skirt chaser ex boyfriend, too.  Geez, telegraph much?

The actual writing, that is the grammar and style, not bad, just the story was pretty simple.  Naive.  Simplistic.  Amateur.  Not even in that cozy mystery kind of way, just not very well done.

But you will notice, I did read the whole thing, so it couldn’t have been all that awful.  The author is a residential architect.  I think she should stick to architecting and leave the mystery writing to others with a better feel for it.

You know, now that I think about it,  fleshed out and improved, it would have made a decent literary fiction offering with the murders, maybe less of them, as a surprise near the end, instead of the murders being the reason for the book.

Oh well, what do I know.  I am only a poor peasant who reads too much.


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