Book Review: Fake Alibi, Leigh Russell

Book Review: Fake AlibiA Geraldine Steel Mystery, Leigh Russell


Fake Alibi, A Geraldine Steel Mystery, Leigh Russell

Book Review: Fake AlibiA Geraldine Steel Mystery, Leigh Russell

Blog Tour August 31, 2022


An elderly woman lies dead in her home. Her son is the most likely suspect. He seems to have an airtight alibi, though: he spent the day with his girlfriend. The young man has some challenges that affect his mental abilities. Certainly he could not have made up an alibi.


There are a few problems, though, in this airtight alibi. No one by her name works at her place of employment. No one by her name lives in her apartment building. He does not have any pictures of her on his phone. No one has ever seen them together. Yet, he is insistent. They were together the entire day.


Detective Geraldine Steel has some other problems on her plate as well. Her boss is confident that the man is guilty, until another suspect comes along. Then she is convinced he is guilty, until evidence points away from him. Then she swerves back to the first suspect. Steel’s warnings that they should not leap to conclusions seem to result only in setting her boss’s mind more firmly on her conclusions. Steel can normally rely on her life partner, another detective, for support. He, though, is on an extended vacation visiting his brother. Her best friend on the force just got married–which becomes very awkward when her husband is suspected in the murder. Personally and professionally, in the case and in her life, Steel is being pulled in multiple directions.


When they find the “girlfriend,” the mystery becomes more complex. The woman exists, but has a different name and does not know the suspect at all. Before they can begin to unwind what is happening, though, the detective team has another murder on their hands. Are they related or not? Is there one killer or more than one? 


Detective Steel has had about 18 books to learn her way around the streets of York. She is a tough and determined detective, careful to let the facts speak for themselves even when the pressure is on to solve the case. Leigh Russell has worked hard to develop this character and the team surrounding her. She is not afraid, though, to shake things up. Faces change on the investigative team, relationships change among the characters, growth and development–and sometimes regression–occur throughout the book and throughout the series. In reality we acknowledge these things as part of life. In fiction, though, they are the mark of an excellent writer devoted to her craft and committed to her characters.


Although this book is part of a well-established series, it walks that fine line between over-explaining and under-explaining past events with finesse and dignity. It is a fine book to introduce one to this series, and definitely makes me want to go into the past and learn more about York’s finest.


Our thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things for our copy of Fake Alibi, provided so we could participate in this blog tour. And our apologies for the tardiness of this review. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives, check out the other bloggers who were on this tour.


Fake Alibi, A Geraldine Steel Mystery, Leigh Russell

Book Review: Fake AlibiA Geraldine Steel Mystery, Leigh Russell


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