“Stormy Weather” by Glen Ebisch

Stormy Weather is the story of – wait for it – a television weather reporter whose name is Stormy. Not her fault; it seems her mother was a bit of a flake. How much the name had to do with her choice of occupation is the subject for a subplot involving Stormy’s family background and her developing maturity as she realizes that she has to break away from her father’s influence, just at the time when he is realizing that he might be losing her.

This adds thematic depth to an otherwise standard murder mystery, involving our heroine and a private detective aptly named Chance, who starts out so stereotyped that Stormy’s hackles are raised the moment she meets him, and she spends the rest of the story finding out who he really is. Thus adding the romantic layer to the plotline.

The murder plot is suitably complex and mostly believable, although the real heavies in the story (black limos with tinted windows, thugs with tinted sunglasses, and a swarthy and menacingly polite boss) seem lifted out of a pulp novel.

The strength of the story comes from Stormy’s complex feelings about her father and mother, their relationship, its effect on her own potential love life and the aforementioned slow exposition of the layers of the detective’s personality, and how he fits (or not, she worries) into Stormy’s romantic preferences.

A minor complaint; I have never been a great fan of the Poirot-style final revelation scene, even when it is done by two characters tag-teaming us with the clues, so I would have preferred it if that section was a bit shorter.

A light, romantic murder mystery with finely detailed main characters, a moderate reliance on coincidence and enough good plot twists to keep us on our toes. Recommended for fans of the lighter side of murder.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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