Jackie Fullerton, who splits her time between Fort Myers and Westerville, Ohio, is an attorney and business woman who has launched an engaging mystery series featuring Anne Marshall, a young law student working as a court reporter. Circumstances lure Anne into detective work. Readers first met her in Fullerton’s 2009 novel Piercing the Veil. Anne is aided by the members of her law school study team, but some of the study partners, who also happen to be police officers, worry about her either getting into danger or interfering with their cases – or both.
Her most able and dedicated partner turns out to the ghost of her father, the late James Marshall, who reveals himself only to Anne – suggesting the deep connection the two had when he was alive. This paranormal element gives Fullerton’s stories an unusual twist, and Fullerton exploits it for a kind of comic relief in the novel, often puncturing or punctuating the suspense.
The second novel in the series, Revenge Served Cold, finds Anne drawn to the aid of Kathy Spence, the wife of deceased law professor Elliott Spence from whom Anne had been taking a course. Those who have known the Spences, including Shirley (Anne’s courthouse supervisor) and the ghost-dad, are sure that Kathy could not possibly be guilty of the hit and run murder of her husband. She would seem to have no motive. However, that’s the way the evidence is pointing. At Shirley’s urging, Anne gets involved.
Readers learn that Professor Spence and his wife had each been visited, separately, by a former close friend from their college days. This man, Ross, was smitten by Kathy during college, and he became mightily disturbed when she fell in love with Elliott. We also discover that there is a woman in town who has longed to have Ross for herself, and thus has been extremely resentful of Kathy’s unintended hold over him.
Jackie Fullerton skillfully moves the reader back and forth through the thoughts of these and other characters, keeping the suspense taught as Anne and her father’s ghost put the pieces together. Every now and then, we catch a whiff of James Marshall’s pipe tobacco.
[Interview with Ms. Fullerton follows.]
To read the full article, as it appears in the July-August 2010 Fort Myers Magazine, click here: Ft.Myers magazine – Jackie Fullerton