POISON PEN by Sheila Lowe

poison-pen(A Forensic Handwriting Mystery).  Cool premise.  A young woman has a degree in handwriting analysis, which has some kind of fancy name which at the moment escapes me… oh, yeah, graphology, that’s it.  She has a successful free lance business doing work for lawyers, employers, etc. needing info which can be garnered from studying someone’s handwriting. 

She has a female friend with whom she had a falling out years before, because the friend was nasty, yada yada yada.  She gets a call, the ex-friend has apparently committed suicide by hot tub or something, so she goes to the funeral.  There, the business partner of the dead friend asks her to come to the office/home of the deceased, and there shows her a note purportedly written by the quick before she became the dead, but in block letters, printed.  He does not believe the woman committed suicide and hires Claudia to find some other samples of the handwriting or printing so he can get the police to call it a homicide.  Guess what, oh big surprise, the insurance company does not want to pay out for the suicide, hence the investigation.

So off she goes, the investigation proceeds apace, we get a lot of interesting info on graphology and what can be learned about a person’s personality from their handwriting, etc., and all in all, it was a nice read.  Not exceptional, you understand.  Too formulaic what with the attractive single homicide detective assigned to the case, who takes her with him to interview suspects!, yeah like that really happens in Real Life.  And if I had actually been paying more attention, I might have figured out the Real Killer, because the clues were offered a little heavyhandedly, but I have no one to blame but myself for my failings. So in spite of any criticisms I might have expressed, I read the whole darn thing all the way through to the last word, so really, how bad could it have been, right?

The author herself is a degreed graphologist, so the info we are offered is the real deal and pretty interesting.

Here’s a sample of my block printing:




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