Title: Dust to Dust
Series: The Sutter & Adler Mysteries: Book One
Author: Jess Faraday
Length: 54 Pages
Category: Historical, Mystery
Rating: 4 Stars
At a Glance: I’m so excited to see Ira Adler and Calvin Sutter again and to see where Jess Faraday is taking them as they get down to the business of strange and spooky crime solving.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Friday, December 13, 1895
Marshal Calvin Sutter is looking forward to treating his best guy, Ira Adler, to a posh birthday supper. But New York City Police Commissioner Edgar DuBois has other plans for Sutter’s evening. He wants Sutter to investigate the suspicious death of a fortune teller on the upper east side. The death is more than suspicious, though, and it’s not the first one—a fact that DuBois conveniently neglected to mention.
Blackmail, unnaturally large sandy footprints, and a very determined black cat come together around a most mysterious question: who is murdering these seemingly random victims, and why are they killing them with sand?
Review: It’s been six years since the crime lord Cain Goddard took a rentboy in off the streets and taught him how to read, write, and speak like a proper English gentleman. Ira Adler has come a long way since then. Goddard is as much a part of Ira’s past as the streets of London’s East End. He’s sailed across the Atlantic, crossed the US to the American West, and is now back east, settled in New York City with Marshal Calvin Sutter. Settled, however, does not mean trouble has taken a holiday. No, trouble still manages to find Ira, via a case Calvin has been asked to look into, and it’s wonderful to have these characters back after a six-plus year absence.
Dust to Dust is a short reintroduction of Ira to the readers who know and adore him as well as the lead-in to a brand new sort of mystery for him and Calvin, along with help from a newly introduced partner, Officer O’Brien, to solve. Investigating a murder doesn’t in any way fall under the purview of the US Marshals, but when he is asked by the NYPD Commissioner to step in, Calvin has no reason to decline the request. This morsel of a mystery is told from the marshal’s point of view as he strives to reason why his murder victim appears to have suffocated on, of all things, sand. That the case has ties to the very real blight of hate and prejudice—something with which both Calvin and Ira are familiar—and the unexpected surprise of the supernatural leads to an interesting question of who the mysterious benefactor is that will be bankrolling a new department Calvin is being asked to establish which will be geared specifically toward investigating crimes of the metaphysical variety. I could guess . . .
If you’ve not read the Ira Adler series yet, which includes The Affair of the Porcelain Dog, Turnbull House, and Fool’s Gold, I’ll say this: all three of the books made it on to my Best Of list in their respective years. The storytelling is meticulous, the characterizations are top-notch, and I even managed to love the villain of the series, Cain Goddard, probably against my better judgment. I do feel it was best to know these characters first as, again, Dust to Dust isn’t meant to offer all their backstory, but I’m so excited to see Ira and Calvin again and to see where Jess Faraday is taking them as they get down to the business of strange and spooky crime solving.
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