by¬†Perri O’Shaughnessy

Gallery, $25.00, 342 pages

In this twelfth installment of the Nina Reilly mystery series, Nina faces the specter of a foe she thought had vanished for good two years earlier. On the eve of the sale of the family resort, Phillip Strong receives a letter purportedly from his son, Jim, Nina’s former client and a sociopath who killed her husband. In the letter, Jim demands his share of the sale in a move orchestrated to ruin his family. Until her meeting with Phillip, Nina assumed her investigator and confidante, Paul van Wagoner, killed Jim to protect her long ago. However, if true, proving the con requires risking a lengthy prison term for Paul. At the same time, Paul is investigating the murders of two women, while the father of Nina’s teenage son wrecks havoc in her private life.

Clearly, the two sisters who write as Perri O’Shaughnessy have the makings of another action-packed adventure. However, Dreams of the Dead is not their best work. With care not to reveal too much, the mystery’s solution proves unsatisfactory when it is revealed that the perpetrator apparently acted in ways logically beyond his or her abilities. True fans of the series may want to take a pass on this one.

Annie Peters