-- A Forensic Handwriting Mystery--
Many of today's best forensic crime novels are penned by authors with a background or career in the area they're writing about. We've seen the handwriting expert on shows such as CSI, but Sheila Lowe is the real deal. She works as a court qualified handwriting expert. She has written books and developed software used in handwriting analysis.
So, her new series featuring graphology expert Claudia Rose is full of fascinating information on the many ways handwriting can be used - determining document authenticity as well as personality, emotional traits and characteristics.
Paige Sorensen hires Claudia to prove that the will made out by her much older, rich, deceased husband is not a forgery. His adult children are contesting the will that leaves everything to Paige, including a prestigious private school -The Sorensen Academy. Claudia becomes more involved than she should, as she is concerned by a troubled student everyone seems to have written off. She begins graphotherapy sessions with Annabelle, hoping to help her. There's more trouble than just a contested will bubbling under the polished veneer of The Sorensen Academy and Claudia is smack dab in the middle of it all.
I wondered- how could a complete novel be built around a handwriting expert? I was pleasantly surprised. Claudia is a spunky woman whose natural curiosity and caring lead her into more than she bargained for. Mix in a cop boyfriend, some fun friends, a personal life and Claudia is soon fleshed out to become more 'real'.
I had a few problems suspending disbelief with some of the procedural details. For example - when Claudia chooses to not contact the police with information that may help them. But these did not detract from the overall story.
Lowe has created an engaging new sleuth in an untapped area of expertise. Written in Blood is the second in this series. Poison Pen is the first. You can read sample chapters of both here.