Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ENGINEERED FOR MURDER by Aileen Schumacher

Every occupation has in it some seeds of violence.

So it is with engineering, especially structural engineering.

When you do what Tory Travers does, inspect construction sites, you deal with a lot of money.  Your reports could hold up construction and financially devastate the contractors involved.

So, when Travers' company brings construction to a halt because a column on a university stadium project was not cast correctly, all hell breaks loose.

The problem escalates to the theft of the records and the murder of the technician who is working with them.

Talk about heaping one complication on another, Aileen Schumacher does that in Engineered for Murder.  Tory gets herself in deeper and deeper.  Lt. David Alvarez delves into Tory's checkered past.  At one point, he also thinks she could be the murderer.

And the book goes from there.

For me, the best thing about this book was Tory Travers herself.  She is strong, stubborn, and makes several mistakes, especially about hiding information. She has overcome difficulties in her past, and she is determined to solve this murder without any help from the men around her. 

Sometimes I wanted to shout at Tory, "Don't be so dense.  You are only making things worse!"  But at the same time, I admired her and enjoyed reading about her.

So this was a good book for me.  I'm glad I ran across a small interview with the author, Aileen Schumacher, on the Mystery Scene Magazine website (listed to the right).  That interview led me to Schumacher's four Tory Travers books, and now I have read two of them.

You'll be hearing about the other two in a while.


BV Lawson said...

Now, if I can just find a good *audio* engineering-themed crime fiction book for the hubster, it would be a perfect fit. But it's nice to see a female engineer as a lead character.

Todd Mason said...

The universality of the beastlier impulses does allow for all kinds of interesting input in crime fiction (even as other sorts of fiction have at least some degree of universal appeal, but crime fiction can slip in particularly well, sometimes, for a lot of people who think they don't like fiction or for writers who are unsure of their abilities beyond ratiocination...).

Joe Barone said...

Todd, There is something widespread about evil, isn't there? Also, in my experience, I've found good in a lot of people too. Right now I'm reading The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray. That book seems to have both almost unspeakable evil and its share of good people who live in difficult situations.

BV, Maybe you could write a good audio engineer crime fiction book!