Murder Under Her Skin: A Pentecost & Parker Mystery by Stephen Spotswood
From Vintage Crime:
A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice • Rex Stout meets Agatha Christie with a fresh twist in the new Pentecost and Parker Mystery, a delightfully hardboiled high-wire act starring two daring women sleuths dead set on justice as they set out to solve a murder at a traveling circus
“A delight … It’s a pleasure to watch [Pentecost and Parker] sifting through red herrings and peeling secrets back like layers of an onion.” The New York Times Book Review
Someone’s put a blade in the back of the Amazing Tattooed Woman, and Willowjean “Will” Parker’s former knife-throwing mentor has been stitched up for the crime. To uncover the truth, Will and her boss, world-famous detective Lillian Pentecost, travel to the circus, where they find a snake pit of old grudges, small-town crime, and secrets worth killing for.
Will called Hart & Halloway’s Traveling Circus and Sideshow home for five years, and Ruby Donner, the circus’s tattooed ingenue, was her friend. To make matters worse, the prime suspect is Valentin Kalishenko, the man who taught Will everything she knows about putting a knife where it needs to go.
To uncover the real killer and keep Kalishenko from a date with the electric chair, Will and Ms. Pentecost join the circus in sleepy Stoppard, Virginia, where the locals like their cocktails mild, the past buried, and big-city detectives not at all. The two swiftly find themselves lost in a funhouse of lies as Will begins to realize that her former circus compatriots aren’t playing it straight, and that her murdered friend might have been hiding a lot of secrets beneath all that ink.