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Interpretation of Murder

Read the first chapter of Interpretation of Murder here.

As an American Sign Language interpreter, Jane Ciardi stands off to the side. Her life changes when she takes a job from a Cleveland private detective. Now Jane’s at the center of things, keeping tabs on a deaf African-American teenager whose odd behavior alarms her wealthy father. Jane also needs to discover the truth behind two murders—including the murder of the first interpreter the detective hired.

To get closer to the teenager, Jane joins a fitness center owned by a family that brings new meaning to the word “dysfunctional.” Jane can’t help feeling attracted to the family’s youngest son, a cheerfully amoral charmer who seems equally drawn to her. But he’s keeping secrets, and so are others at the fitness center. The more Jane learns about the center, the more she suspects some people go there to get more than a workout. The more she learns, the more she becomes the target of attacks that force her to use her martial arts skills to defend herself.

Somehow, she realizes, the fitness center is connected to the two murders and to the deaf teenager’s odd behavior. Jane’s struggle to unravel all the secrets tests her resourcefulness, her loyalties, and her courage.

“It was a pleasure to read this accomplished first novel by an award-winning veteran short story writer. Jane Ciardi is a gutsy and intelligent heroine this reader would like to see more of. Among the mystery’s many satisfactions are the convincing details of both ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation and martial arts. Interpretation of Murder is a true traditional mystery with characters to believe in and a solid plot with plenty of surprises.”

—three-time Agatha nominee Elizabeth Zelvin

Published by Black Opal Books, April 2015

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Book categories: Featured and Fiction