Shadow of a Butterfly: The Case of the Harmless Old Woman by J. A. Menzies

Book 3 in the A Paul Manziuk and Jacquie Ryan Mystery series

Death in a seniors’ complex? Not unusual. But the murder of a resident of Serenity Suites, a high-rise for affluent seniors in downtown Toronto, is highly unusual. Residents fear a murderer who thinks he’s doing elderly people a favour, and wonder who’ll be next.

Detective Inspector Paul Manziuk and his head-strong new partner, Constable Jacqueline Ryan, take on the difficult task of figuring out “whodunit.”

Suspects include a famous Broadway actress and her young musician husband; a best-selling thriller writer; the former host of a popular radio talk show; a ballerina with a shady past; and a retired children’s singer who might be reading too many mysteries.

Manziuk and Ryan, themselves dealing with personal issues, try to allay the residents’ fears while following every rabbit trail that comes up. As they sort through half-truths and long-buried secrets, they realize that those with opportunity had no motive, and those with motive, no opportunity. They know they’re missing something, but what?

“I can't think of a book – and I have read many! – that kept me as enthralled from page one to the end. The plot was very intricate with many characters who could have done the murder but…. I thought the experienced, tired police Chief Inspector Manziuk and his new second on the case, Constable Ryan, so well drawn, from their appearance to their thoughts and prejudices to the their actions, that I could almost see them. The numerous other “suspects” were equally well sketched out, some were almost bizarre! Often I get bored part way through a book and just skip ahead to the last chapter to get it done, but not this one!” 5-star review on Amazon