FREELANCE WRITER providing quality service since 1995 - ANGIE MANGINO  journalist / book reviewer
Eloquent Tattoo
A murder mystery
By Dr. Audrey Lavin
2011
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating:  4 stars
 
Readers meet Mary Beth Goldberg, both English professor and detective, at lunch with Austin Westlake, her friend.  She leaves him to go to her 1:30 class, with plans made for him to order a pizza and her to bring the wine to meet at 6 pm to talk privately about a matter that worried Austin.  When she arrives that night, Austin looks asleep at his desk “with sleeves pushed up in an affected casualness that allowed Mary Beth to see a tattoo she hadn’t noticed before.”  As she walked closer, the reality that “Austin wasn’t going to wake up – ever” hit her.
 
Thus begins a murder mystery that readers will become absorbed in until its conclusion.
 
A variety of personalities makes up the characters of this story, centered on Midfield Campus College in Midfield, Ohio, each with their own personality traits and story.  Abby McKenzie, a college M.D., is Mary Beth’s friend.  Celeste, Eleanor, Liz, and Robby are students, while Ted Ruppy is a Chemistry professor.  Seth Yoder is Sheriff, with Sylvester Morse his deputy.  Simone Westlake is Austin’s sister in Akron.  Tony Bartlett and Gabe James are Mary Beth’s two boyfriends.
 
Conversation is realistic, moving the story along, with a minor observation that Sheriff Seth Yoder’s identifying line of “Just call me Seth” may have been repeated a bit too often.
 
Readers will relate to Mary Beth, drawn into her conflicts, of her profession and of her personal relationships, trumped by her involvement in searching for the murderer of her friend.
 
This reviewer found this an interesting mystery to follow that led to resolutions of both the murder and her personal relationships.  Without lapsing into a spoiler of this mystery, suffice to say this reviewer was very satisfied with the conclusion to the murder mystery, but felt the conclusion to Mary Beth’s relationship issues was a bit too convenient and neat.