Monday, April 28, 2008


The Fall of Optimum House, Alice Zogg, Aventine Press, 2007, 252 pp

This is the fifth mystery by my friend Alice Zogg. It is set in California near Big Bear Lake and involves a modeling school/health resort where suspicious activities have been going on. The owner has sought the help of Private Investigator RA Huber. Eventually there are murders.

For the first time, Alice has written in 3rd person which opens up her style to good effect. Also RA Huber has hired an assistant, a young woman from New Orleans, who likes to be called Andi, though her name is Antoinette LeJeune. She is a high-spirited motorcycle riding kind of girl who goes to Optimum House posing as a modeling student.

Andi brings energy and humor to the story: there is a hilarious incident when she goes for an eyebrow waxing and some funny moments with the dietitian. As usual I was not able to figure out who the killer was due to Alice's excellent plotting skills.

I always like reading an author's work from earliest to most recent books and I am very much enjoying watching the growth of Alice Zogg as a mystery writer. Even though she writes for her own enjoyment rather than for fame or fortune, she keeps honing her skills and every new book is a step up from the last.

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