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Book Reviews
Martha Stevens-David Review: "The Sketching Detective" by Jack McCormac
By Martha Stevens-David
Jul 9, 2015 - 12:03:18 AM

I found this book; "The Sketching Detective" by Jack McCormac to be a very different book from the other mysteries that I have read throughout my life.

This story is a murder mystery but I found that most of the story line was combined with the story of a marriage that had gone off the road and one man's attempt to get his wife to show her love for him once again.

The publicity material does make it plain that there are several plotlines and states:

  • "Jack McKay, a university professor, is going to put his unlikely detective skills to use once again after solving the case (previous novel) of the murdered showgirl and almost ending his marriage."

The main plot of the story is described in the publicity material as follows:

The doubting police chief, Fat Joe, is asking for Jack's help in uncovering the murderer of Sam Campbell, a grouchy, miserly neighbor of Jack's. Jack wants to refuse to help the police on this case because of the trouble working on the previous case caused him but his wife, the lovely and feisty Fiona, demands that Jack help the police. In an effort to win Fiona back, or at least get her to move back into their home; Jack puts all his efforts into solving Sam's murder and clearing Bob's name. Jack and Fiona's whole neighborhood tries to get in on finding the murderer too, causing a number of mishaps, and even more surprises.

Although I did find the verbal interaction between the main character and his wife to be both humorous and insightful, I also found the story to be very complex. It was not easy to understand because it has so many characters involved in the plot.

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I still would.

Martha Stevens-David

Jack McCormac, a native of South Carolina, is a Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at Clemson University. He is the author of a number of well-known civil engineering textbooks. These texts, which have been used for required courses at more than 500 universities around the world, have been translated into many different languages. The Sketching Detective is his first attempt at fiction. Engineering News Record, working in collaboration with the engineering and architecture societies of the United States and Europe, selected Jack for their list of the 125 greatest engineers or architects in the world over the last 125 years. Only five of the 125 listed were university professors. Authors Website

"The Sketching Detective"
By: Jack McCormac
Xlibris Publishing
Published Nov. 14, 2014
ISBN: 978-1499058215
256 pages
Softcover $14
Hardcover $23
E-book $4

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