Alma H. Bond, PhD Click to Go to Homepage
A psychoanalyst assists the NYPD to find the killer of one of her patients.
With The Deadly Jigsaw Puzzle, Dr. Bond expands her opus to present an old-fashioned mystery which explores the process of therapy, the investigation of a crime scene & the behavior patterns of the people involved.
Dr. Mary Wells receives a call from Lieutenant John Franklin of the 19th Precinct to tell her that Veronica Vail, a patient for eight years, has been found murdered in her apartment. When Dr. Wells questions the lieutenant as to why he had called her, he responds: “Sometimes we need to understand the thought patterns of both murderers and victims before we can make sense of crime scene evidence.” Grief & guilt-stricken Dr. Wells is drawn into a puzzle that will change her life forever.
Mary Wells remembers the first time she met the dynamic, troubled, six foot tall, red-haired Veronica Vail. Remembers how constrained this patient was feeling about her perfect marriage to Raymond, complete with a young child & a jealous teenage step‑daughter; her perfect job in an up & coming interior decorating agency where Carlos de la Cuesta is both their boss; about her jealousy that Carlos, a female impersonator by night, has the hots for her husband. Only recently had Veronica felt safe enough in her therapy to face her complex relationship with her father, although its impact in her current life neither therapist nor patient had fully realized.
Soon Lt. Franklin & Dr. Wells are meeting to explore the clues, both finding enjoyment in each other's company. For Mary Wells, a longtime widow quite content wherein she finds herself, John Franklin is arousing long-forgotten feelings. As she sorts through the tapes of her sessions with Veronica, she accompanies the Lt, Franklin to interview Carlos de la Cuesta & see him perform. She listens to the couple's daughters, & discovers what the family's maid saw, moments after she came in the front door & found Veronica's body.
The Deadly Jigsaw Puzzle is a mystery with many layers: how to interpret memories & behaviors; how to put the clues together. It is also a love story of two mature people.
All in all, Dr. Bond has written an elegant & satisfying story that will linger on long after the last page is turned. I definitely see a series with these two gentle, heroic citizens -- Dr. Mary Wells & Lt. John Franklin.