Requiem for Geraldine Gerbil
J. Stewart Willis
Bair Ink Books (2021)
Reviewed by Chelsy Scherba for Reader Views (06/21)
“Requiem for Geraldine Gerbil” by J. Stewart Willis is a mystery and crime novel with plenty of suspects, questions, and intrigue. Daphne O’Hanlon is a successful children’s book author of the Geraldine Gerbil series. When she is discovered murdered just inside her front door, detectives Metzinger and Givens have to narrow down a long list of suspects. Daphne wasn’t really liked by anyone, making the detectives’ jobs that much more difficult. Can these hardworking law officers balance their chaotic home lives while solving a seemingly unsolvable murder?
I don’t generally read a lot of crime and mystery novels but when I get the occasion to, I like the puzzle and the characters to be engaging. Luckily, this book checks all those boxes. Metzinger is an overweight father trying to navigate through his teen daughter’s reckless romance and Givens is an attractive black female with a subdued personality and an overbearing mother. I really enjoyed the growth of these two characters in particular and how their stories intermeshed with the Daphne O’Hanlon murder narrative.
J. Stewart Willis does an exceptional job bringing to life a variety of believable female characters, focusing on their personalities and feelings rather than just their physical attributes. I also liked the portrayal of Daphne’s daughters because I could see them as being actual people rather than just fictional characters. Female characters are so prevalent and realistically crafted by Willis, it actually surprised me to get to the end of the story and find out the author was not a female himself.
The copy I read was professionally edited with very few spelling or grammar errors, but the rendering needs to be checked thoroughly before going to market. Much of the dialogue throughout the book was in need of spaces, making the story illegible without some effort. Otherwise, this was a fine mystery novel that should appeal to fans of the genre and keep you guessing who killed Daphne and why.
If you’re looking for an interesting mystery novel with flawless characterizations and a fair share of plot twists, then you’ll enjoy reading “Requiem for Geraldine Gerbil” by J. Stewart Willis. Metzinger and Givens are a good team with plenty of personal problems to balance in addition to solving the murder of Daphne O’Hanlon. I enjoyed the detectives’ tireless search for justice, Givens’ bravery, and reading the conclusion of the mystery. I definitely recommend this story to fans of mystery books and crime shows.