Molly Greene’s Rapunzel is a thrilling read. A murder mystery set in San Francisco that involves corporate espionage, kidnapping, and mysterious mushrooms (it’s true!). Cambria (Bree) Butler is a would-be investigative journalist who, on the same day, bumps into an old college friend and stumbles on a dead body. That old college friend, Genevive Delacourt, happens to be a lawyer and a licensed private investigator – as well as a lifeline for Bree, who finds herself a suspect in a very sticky situation. The friends soon find themselves in the middle of a hugely complex set of circumstances.
The body I mentioned earlier belongs to Andrew Ducane, a very young and rather brilliant chemical engineer at a San Francisco biotech company. Bree is supposed to interview him for a college alumni magazine, but find an entirely different kind of story when she arrives at his office. The ensuing mystery is well-crafted, if a bit complicated. (Full disclosure: it is very well possible that the plot seemed complicated only because it’s me. Science has never been my strong suit and, admittedly, my mind glazed over a bit during the more scientific parts. Sorry, Molly!) Instead of focusing on those aspects, I focused on characters and relationships. I had some favorite characters and some that I was suspicious of from the get-go. However, I felt a little confused at times. The character canvas seemed to grow very quickly and the use of various nicknames threw me a bit, too. I had to pause sometimes and think about who was who and to remind myself of how they were all related.
That said, let’s talk about some favorite and memorable characters:
- From the moment he stepped onto the canvas, I was suspicious of Taylor Vonnegon, CEO of the biotech company where Ducane worked – and died. Molly Greene did a great job making him a debonair yet cunning presence and she sure kept my suspicion on its toes!
- One of my favorite character relationships was between Bree and Detective Eric Garcia. They have a few scenes that rank among my favorites in the book. The chemistry and banter between the pair is palpable, easy, and natural. I wish there were more of these two later in the novel – I thought they got a little lost; swallowed up by other events.
- Gen is a lively character and, as I understand it, the character Molly Greene’s mystery series revolves around. (Rapunzel is the second and, full disclosure, I have not yet read the first – but I plan to!) She capably moves the story along and has good interplay with all of the surrounding characters through the novel. She’s engaging and I can easily see how a series can spin around her.
Overall, I enjoyed Rapunzel. The thread of intrigue is strong and the result is a compelling read. Technically, my rating is 3.5 stars; however, Goodreads and Amazon don’t accept that rating and, since it’s closer to a 4 than a 3, I rate this read a 4-star book. Happy reading!
(Notice of disclosure: I received a free copy of Rapunzel in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to author Molly Greene for the opportunity to review her work.)