In the dead of winter, handwriting expert Claudia Rose journeys to Maine to retrieve a manuscript about convicted female serial killer, Roxanne Becker. The manuscript, written by Professor Madeleine Maynard, who was, herself, brutally murdered, exposes a shocking secret: explosive research about a group of mentally unstable grad students selected for a special project and dubbed “Maynard’s Maniacs.” Was Madeleine conducting research that was at best, unprofessional—and at worst, downright harmful, and potentially dangerous? Could that unorthodox research have turned deadly?
Claudia finds herself swept up in the mystery of Madeleine’s life—and death. But she soon realizes that Madeleine left behind more questions than answers, and no shortage of suspects. The professor’s personal life yields a number of persons who might have wanted her dead—and her academic success and personal fortune clearly made her the envy of fellow faculty members. The University anticipates being the beneficiary of Madeline’s estate—but that seems in question when a charming stranger, claiming to be Madeleine’s nephew, turns up brandishing a new will.
The local police chief prevails upon Claudia to travel into town to examine the newly produced, handwritten will. Rushing back to Madeleine’s isolated house to escape an impending storm, Claudia becomes trapped in a blizzard. With a killer.
The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’
My favorite handwriting expert, Claudia Rose, was sitting back and relaxing and thinking about wedding plans when a colleague asked her to do him a huge favor. Little did Claudia know, this favor was going to turn out to be a bitter cold one in every sense of the word. Her latest escapade takes her across the country to the east where winter is more than on the way, but a constant here and now. Claudia certainly wasn’t used to that type of weather, but she’s a trooper and always up for a challenge.
Turns out Claudia was sent to Maine to retrieve an unfinished manuscript that Professor Madeleine Maynard was working on. Unfortunately for the professor, someone did not want her to finish the manuscript because she ended up brutally murdered. And what was worse, as Claudia begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together, something horrible becomes quite clear: Professor Maynard wasn’t exactly on the up and up with her special research she was conducting. In fact, I’d say she was borderline up for review by the school’s board, had they really known what she was up to, but was that enough to have the professor murdered? Hmm, obviously, someone thought so.
Besides, Claudia is dangerously close to missing her flight back to Cally so she can spend New Year’s with her fiancée, Joel Jovanich. I don’t think they’ve ever been apart this long and Claudia was growing restless. However, she wasn’t too restless that the more she unearthed clues about the professor’s death, the more she realized that one of the students involved in the research had much to gain, while someone else had much to lose. As you continue to follow Claudia and the clues to this murder mystery, you’ll be quite surprised with what you learn leaving you quite shocked!
I absolutely loved this story. Lowe, as usual, never lets me down in the Claudia Rose series. I was so elated when I found out she had written another installment to this outstanding series. What was even more interesting is that this novel really delved into what Claudia does as a handwriting expert. It truly centers around her skills and I found the story quite intriguing and interesting. If you’re not familiar with this series, you most definitely need to get acquainted. And the best part is, all of the books read as standalones. You can easily pick them up and start and move around quite nicely.
The Sexy Nerd gives Written Off five handwritten stars! Lowe is one of my favorite authors and she’s brought forth another masterpiece of writing. If you love a good whodunit with a little bit of forensics and humor tied in, please add Written Off to your eReaders or gift it for that special book lover in your life. Remember, a book lover never has enough books. It’s unheard of! (wink, wink!) Until next time, Get Mind Blown!