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Andrea K Höst

Australian writer of science fiction and fantasy.
The Mother Shadow (Crime, Penguin) - Melodie Johnson Howe Billed as the "West Coast answer to Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin", this story revolves around Maggie Hill, a temp whose latest job brings her into the investigations of detective Claire Conrad.This is not a note-for-note copy of the Nero Wolfe books - there are plenty of resemblances, but some strong differences, most particularly in Maggie, who is here being introduced to the detective business, while we only meet Archie properly ensconced as Wolfe's man about town. Nor does Maggie have Archie's snap and patter, but she's an enjoyable heroine, with a jaded 80s Hollywood air.While we don't have Archie's zing, and Conrad doesn't quite match Wolfe's eccentric and arrogant brilliance, this is still an enjoyable and complex mystery which kept me engrossed.