The Secret Keeper Review
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Iím not usually a big fan of mysteries that donít move along at a fast clip, but when one ends with a clever twist, Iím glad that I took the time to read it. And author Dorien Greyís The Secret Keeper is one such novel.

Private investigator Dick Hardesty has settled into a routine with his love interest, Jonathan. His cases keep him steadily busy, even if they arenít all that exciting, and theyíve settled Jonathanís nephew, Joshua, into daycare. Yet life for Dick is starting to seem stodgy. He needs some excitement in his life, and a case with some mystery and a hint of danger might be the perfect cure.

Jonathan, a landscape consultant, begins spending time with an older man named Clarence Bement, who needs work done in his garden. But then Bement suddenly commits suicide, leaving a sizable fortune to his ungrateful kids. Around the same time, Bementís lawyer dies in a suspicious automobile accident. Jonathan doesnít believe that his friend committed suicide, so Dick begins looking into his death.

Dick uncovers the possibility that Bement had drafted an updated will and signed it before witnesses, but he canít find copies of itónot even in the dead lawyerís files. Searches also lead him to possible fraud involving phony charitable organizations. None of Bementís family will help with the investigation, but Dick soon learns just how clever Clarence Bement was right before his death.

Private investigative mysteries need at least three things to keep my interest: unique characters, well-written prose, and a clever plot. The Secret Keeper has all three. Author Dorien Grey kept me roped in with a puzzling case that makes little sense until it begins to come together quite nicely toward the endóand then it ends with a clever twist that had me laughing out loud.

Though P.I. Dick Hardestyís home life is unconventional, readers will still be able to relate to the schedule conflicts involving a small child, the need for excitement in a life thatís gone kind of stale, and the many quirky (and sometimes annoying) personality traits that he has to deal with in his relationship with Jonathan. As you get to know Dick both as a man and as an investigator, youíll appreciate how well-rounded and likable he is, and youíll enjoy spending time with him.

Although the story is somewhat slow-paced, The Secret Keeperís witty and attention-grabbing plot is a welcome rest from high-speed thrillers. Sometimes you just have to stop and catch your breath, and this book is the perfect way to do that.

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