The Sixth Idea (Monkeewrench #7), by P.J. Tracy

Eight stars

In yet another thrilling novel, P.J. Tracy impresses readers with a well-grounded novel of mystery and suspense. Homicide Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth are enjoying some much needed time off, when a call comes in that a man has been found in his home, shot in the head. After rushing to the scene and beginning their investigation, a second call comes about a man who was killed outside a local hotel. A little digging shows that these two men had been exchanging emails and were planning to meet the following day. Could the murders be related, or simply a very odd coincidence? Soon, a woman comes forward, having seen the news about the murders. Lydia Ascher reports that not only was she on a flight from L.A. to Minneapolis with one of the victims, but they share an odd connection from sixty years in the past. Magozzi and Rolseth begin exploring this and learn that one victim had a website ‘The Sixth Idea’, which has since been removed from the World Wide Web. Enter, Monkeewrench and their tech skills to help with the investigation. What they discover only adds to the confusion and opens new pathways in the case. More murders bring Magozzi and Rolseth running, but the victims are not who they might predict… which only makes things more confusing and the case further from resolution. P.J. Tracy offers up another stunning piece that will keep readers devouring the novel well into the night, begging for more Monkeewrench. Recommended to series fans and those who love a good thriller without all the hype of the big city lights.

I continue to thoroughly enjoy my summer reading binge of P.J. Tracy’s work! The stories have not lost their momentum and Tracy is able to mix great mystery alongside wonderful characters to come up with the ideal formula for a hit. Magozzi and Rolseth dazzle throughout this series, including this seventh novel. Their banter, perhaps the thing I enjoy the most, is always sharp and on point, keeping me laughing between trying to piece together what’s going on in the larger mystery. Magozzi’s love affair with MacBride seems finally to be grounding itself, though there is still an interesting push-pull between the two. Rolseth has his own moments, though there is little new to offer up at this point, save one glaring issue. The entire Monkeewrench crew is present, using their tech-savvy skills to crack yet another case wide open. As with the other novels in the series, the narrative flows well, giving the reader a wonderful gift of great reading, which is sometimes lost in this genre. I did enjoy the six decade span of this novel and how things that started so long ago could return to being poignant, yet with its own new flair. On the topic of time passing in the novel, I found an anomaly worth mentioning. I have come to notice that Rolseth’s children never appear to age, at least based on mention of them in the narrative. ‘Ever youthful’ one might say, but the narrative clearly show a progression in time over these six novels (particularly when one character remembers having known Magozzi for a decade, when they first met on the original Monkeewrench case), while the Rolseth second generation remain five and close to sixteen. Not a major issue, but surely one that remains on my radar as I look ahead to the coming two novels. These novels move away from the traditional police procedural and permit P.J. Tracy to entertain the reader with strong storylines, perfect for a vacation or summer binge. I am eager to keep racing through these books and have only a few left. I can see the crash coming after such a great binge.

Kudos, P.J. Tracy, for another wonderful piece. I am so happy to have found this series and hope to feel more chills throughout this summer reading binge!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: