KIRKUS REVIEW of City Hall Secrets

It is official. The gold standard of book reviews, Kirkus Reviews, has determined that City Hall Secrets is “A well-crafted whodunit with an engaging cast and ambiance.” The complete review is attached.

A Coterie Crime Mystery
Dennis M. Adams


In this mystery sequel, a newly appointed police commissioner must deal with a protest, a riot, and a murder before he
even moves into his new office—and it’s all downhill from there.

Big Will Williams is the new police commissioner. He heads up a group called the Coterie that meets for breakfast twice a week. It consists of active and retired police officers with valuable skills. Think of the Justice League but with half of the
heroes on Medicare. The very night of Will’s appointment, a protest takes place in front of City Hall, one that does not look at all spontaneous. José Diaz is shot dead, and a police cadet may have killed him, but confusion reigns. A key man in the Coterie is Harry Doyle, a retired police detective who is now “doing that Magnum, P.I. thing.” Will enlists the private eye to investigate the killing, hoping to clear that worthy cadet, Elijah Washington, of any wrongdoing. Then there is a cold case at issue. Mayor Colin Carter’s wife, Jennifer, was murdered years ago. Harry looks into that case again during the course of the protest investigation. It turns out that Diaz was involved in a counterfeiting scheme with other criminals, namely Iggy Hernandez and Troy Gilbert. All three were on the city payroll in what were obviously sinecures. Through dogged and inspired police work, the heroes hope to bring a remaining malefactor to justice and solve the Jennifer Carter case. Adams does a good job here. He seems to be well acquainted with police procedures. The detectives’ breaking down of Hernandez is masterfully described, and the teacher-student dynamic of crusty Doyle and the young Washington is well handled. Dialogue is sometimes a bit stiff, with verbs that are sort of Tom Swift–ian, but somehow the author convinces readers that these guys really are straight shooters without making them into Boy Scouts. In these days, when the police are getting a lot of justifiable and invalid criticism, Adams’ tale is refreshing.
A well-crafted whodunit with an engaging cast and ambiance.

“A well-crafted whodunit with an engaging cast and ambiance.” – Kirkus Reviews