Shaded Light: The Case of the Tactless Trophy Wife by J. A. Menzies

Book 1 in the A Paul Manziuk and Jacquie Ryan Mystery series

It's rather like a game of Clue. A muggy July weekend in Toronto. A house party with a disparate assortment of guests. A tired police inspector. His rookie partner. And a baffling murder.

Senior corporate lawyer George Brodie and his wife Ellen want their son to marry a nice girl and settle down. To that end, Ellen invited the auburn-haired daughter of a distant relative for the July long weekend. But her plans go sadly awry when George invites his junior partners and their wives, and their son brings along his roommate—a ladies’ man.

Jillian Martin, the spoiled young wife of one of George’s partners, looks forward to being the center of attention at the house party, but nothing goes right. The last straw is when the jealous wife of another partner dares to challenge her.

After a body is found in a garden on the estate, chaos ensues.

Meanwhile, Homicide Inspector Paul Manziuk wants nothing more than a few days R and R to recharge his brain. Constable Jacqueline Ryan, who believes she owes her promotion to the Homicide Squad to being a black woman, wants nothing to do with the no-nonsense, intimidating Manziuk.

But circumstances bring them together, and it isn’t long before they feel they've been thrust into a modern Agatha Christie whodunit where everyone has a motive and there are numerous baffling clues and conflicting alibis.

“Paul Manziuk and his new partner, Jacqueline Ryan, make an odd team—he’s white, an abrupt, patronizing veteran, while she’s a recently promoted, vivacious black woman—but… the two rub elbows and tempers to captivating effect.” <i>Publishers Weekly</i>