Wings in the Dark Review
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In his last Jake & Laura Mystery, All That Glitters, author Michael Murphy took readers to 1930s California for a historical Hollywood whodunit. Now, in Wings in the Dark, his characters set sail for Hawaii, only to find themselves caught in the middle of yet another mystery.

The story catches up with mystery writer Jake Donovan and movie star Laura Wilson on their honeymoon in Hawaii. They just happen to be nearby as Amelia Earhart, Laura’s friend, is preparing to make a momentous flight across the Pacific. But just days before Amelia is scheduled to depart, a local businessman is killed in the hangar. With just one desperate phone call, the honeymoon is over—and Jake and Laura begin seeking out jealous pilots, political extremists, and a mysterious spy in their quest to find the killer.

The actress and the detective-turned-author continue their romp through 1930s history with their third high-speed adventure. This time, they find themselves in Amelia Earhart’s inner circle, interacting with the famed pilot and her publisher husband, George Putnam. But while Earhart and Putman add some interesting historical context to the story, Murphy doesn’t stop there. As Jake and Laura continue their investigation, they get caught up in everything from the growing threat of war with Japan to the political debates between the Hawaiians who want to take advantage of their ties to the States and those who would rather return to their old way of life. And, in the process, Murphy mixes fact with fiction in a way that feels almost seamless.

Still, the best thing about the series is its characters. Jake is tough and smart and impulsive—the kind of character that you’d find in an old detective novel. And Laura is charming and elegant—the ideal old-Hollywood starlet. He’s rough around the edges, and she manages to smooth them out. They’re total opposites in so many ways, and that’s what makes them such a great team—and a likable couple, too.

In their latest adventure, meanwhile, Jake and Laura are joined by Putnam’s personal secretary, Billy. Smart but sheltered, their reluctant young assistant knows the facts, though he often struggles to keep up with the smooth-talking, fast-moving duo. And while he throws their usually easy-going partnership just slightly off-balance, he makes an entertaining sidekick—and he offers a new perspective on the couple and their investigation.

Wings in the Dark is another light and enjoyable caper from this lovable crime-solving twosome. If you enjoy novels that are well seasoned with period touches and historical details, make sure you load your favorite e-reader with the entire series before setting out on your next vacation.

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