She Murdered Me with Science is David Boop's first novel. It combines historical fiction, sci-fi, and detective noir. Boop often plays for humor, and I think he does it well. I love the liberal sprinkling of period slang, though I admit my knowledge and taste of it come from "Casablanca", bits of "The Maltese Falcon", and Shirley Temple movies like "The Bachelor and the Bobbysocker".
As is a staple in the detective noir genre, when we meet our hero, he is "down on his luck". Noel Glass was a teenage science protege. He was recruited in his childhood by NMIT and graduated at the tender age of 16. He left NMIT in disgrace when an experiment went horribly wrong and killed six people, including his lover, Tangie. To make ends meet he becomes a private eye and forensic detective. He has been struggling to invent something to reestablish himself as a scientist.
Just as he completes his new invention he is approached by a mysterious man that not only wants to buy his invention, but tells him that the accident was really a frame job. The people that framed Glass for the deaths are trying to kill his benefactor. Glass then uses his detective skills to figure out why this mystery man is helping him and who framed him.
He is helped in his quest by Mr Lee, who had previously rescued him from depression and self-pity, and Vincent, the mystery man's body guard. At times the interaction between the three makes me think of a buddy flick. Boop also pulls in the sultry songbird, though this one is far from helpless.
I was a bit disappointed in the twist ending, as I predicted it much earlier. Now whether this was accidental, or done on purpose to play up the archetypes of the genre, I can not be sure. Over all, this was a fun read. Perfect for a vacation or to read on a beach.
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