DEATH OF A BUTTERFLY
Originally published in hardcover (left) by Crime Club, 1984. Ebook edition (right) published by Maron & Company, 2011.
Some people make murder their business, and right now that is very definitely the business of New York policewoman Sigrid Harald
It is not the tragedy of Julie Redmond's death that involves her; it is Redmond's life that becomes the center of interest, her death only highlighting the scars this woman left on those who are still alive.
For as Lieutenant Harald quickly discovers, there are plenty of people who could have motives for killing Julie Redmond, who was a beautiful but cold, self-centered, and demanding woman. There are her next-door neighbors, who have provided Julie's son, Timmy, with the love she never gave him. And then there's Mickey Novak, Julie's criminally adept brother to whom Julie never offered much sisterly attention.
With the help of a precocious fifteen-year-old sleuth, Lieutenant Harald untangles a web of blackmail and murder and half a million dollars' worth of stolen gems, revealing a ruthless mastermind whose cruelty has finally caught up with her.
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine has said, "Harald is no stereotypical policewoman....Getting to know her is a pleasure;" while the San Diego Union-Tribune says, "Maron combines a lighthearted style, surefooted suspense, and a captivating cast."
Critical Praise for Death of a Butterfly
“Several cuts above the average detective story. Its plot is ingenious, its dialogue crisp, its characters so engaging that you’d like to meet them in person anytime.” (Danville Register)
“Maron has assembled some well-drawn and lively characters among the suspects and produces a surprising murderer.” (Washington Post Book World)
“A pleasant quasi-police procedural effectively combined with a traditional puzzle mystery.” (Wilson Library Bulletin)