Winsome Murder


Product Details

University of Wisconsin Press
Publish Date
5.81 X 8.56 X 0.75 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

James DeVita is a core company member and literary manager at the American Players Theatre, a professional classical repertory company in Spring Green, Wisconsin. He has worked extensively as a playwright and has published two novels for younger readers, The Silenced and Blue. He is a native of Long Island, New York, and now lives near Spring Green.


"A story of superior literary merit with a very hard edge and some biting social commentary. Detective James Mangan is complex and interesting, a tough, gritty Chicago cop whose vast reservoir of wonderfully spooky Shakespeare quotations informs his crime-solving skills. It's a fine study of contrasts that folds into a taut, multilayered, highly enjoyable whodunit."--Brian Rieselman, author of Where Darkness Sleeps

"An unpredictable, intelligent mystery that illuminates the darkness simmering in the most idyllic of places. With a little help from the Shakespeare he knows so well, and a keen eye for the gritty realities of rural life, James DeVita brings an incredible cast to this novel's stage, led by one of the most compelling detectives you'll ever meet."--Dean Bakopoulos, author of My American Unhappiness

"James DeVita has written a riveting thriller featuring a deranged killer and a detective who hears snatches of Shakespeare in his head. It's a terrific read."--Michael Hinden, coauthor with Betsy Draine of the Nora Barnes and Toby Sandler mysteries

"DeVita . . . creates deep and substantial characters with histories that drive their motives. Detective Mangan's internal voice often quotes Shakespeare . . . giving him characteristics of a deeply intelligent, well-read man working an unjust and bloody job."--Foreword Reviews

"Mangan makes a fine protagonist, but in A Winsome Murder DeVita introduces another cop who could give him a run for his money: Officer Michele Schaefer, of the Winsome Police Department. Although only a small-town cop, Schaefer--who first identified [the] body--has cojones to match her big-city counterpart."--Mystery Scene

"An engaging mystery that's a feast of literary allusions. . . . [Detective James] Mangan's 'verbal quirks, ' snatches of prose or poetry that pop into his head and help him solve cases, make him an unusually distinctive sleuth."--Publishers Weekly

"DeVita has created an exceptional villain and a fascinating and complicated mystery told in a gripping manner. . . . A solid choice for Sean Chercover and Laura Lippman readers and noir fans."--Library Journal

"This debut crime novel is a haunting tale of grief and murder that will not soon be forgotten. In James Mangan, DeVita has created a wholly original detective, and it is a treat to follow along as the voices of Shakespeare and Melville lead him to the story's explosive conclusion. With fast plotting and stellar writing, A Winsome Murder is not to be missed."--William Lashner, author of Bagmen