WRITTEN OFF by Sheila Lowe


In the dead of winter, handwriting expert Claudia Rose journeys to Maine to retrieve a manuscript about convicted female serial killer, Roxanne Becker. Written by Professor Madeleine Maynard, who was, herself, brutally murdered, the manuscript exposes a shocking secret: explosive research about a group of grad students dubbed “Maynard’s Maniacs.” Was the professor 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 new heir turns up brandishing a new will.
After the local police chief prevails upon Claudia to travel into town to examine the newly produced, handwritten will she rushes back to Madeleine’s isolated house to escape an impending storm. There, Claudia becomes trapped in a blizzard. With a killer.

This is not your ordinary mystery novel. Oh sure, it has more twists than your average pretzel, enough suspense to make you wish you could turn the pages faster and, of course, the obligatory storm, a Nor'easter, looming down on the crime scene. But what makes this novel unique and worthy of the read is that the author, a graphologist (handwriting expert) with an advanced degree in psychology, uses her professional training and experience to delve deeply and compassionately into the psyche of each character through their handwriting. I found it a thoroughly fascinating approach that greatly enriched the already flawless plot. I give it Five Stars and plan to read the entire Claudia Rose series. You should too! – Dick Drechsler