Wednesday, November 9, 2022

"Murder at Black Oaks"

Phillip Margolin has written over twenty novels, most of them New York Times bestsellers, including Gone But Not Forgotten, Lost Lake, and Violent Crimes. In addition to being a novelist, he was a long time criminal defense attorney with decades of trial experience, including a large number of capital cases.

Margolin applied the Page 69 Test to Murder at Black Oaks, his sixth novel in the series featuring Robin Lockwood, ex-MMA fighter and Yale law school graduate, and reported the following:
If a reader opened Murder at Black Oaks to page 69 they would get a little idea about what half of the book is about. Murder at Black Oaks is a part legal thriller and part a salute to Agatha Christie and other giants of the golden age of mystery writing.

Robin Lockwood is hired by retired prosecutor Frank Melville who lives in Black Oaks, a replica of a cursed English mansion that sits on the top of Solitude Mountain. Melville wants Robin to free Jose Alverez, an innocent man who has been living on death row for thirty years. Page 69 shows a small part of Robin’s trial preparation. After Robin succeeds, she brings Jose to Black Oaks. When torrential rains cause mudslides, Robin is trapped in the mansion with a horribly scarred butler, a lunatic who has escaped from the hospital for the criminally insane, and other classic suspects that peopled the novels of Agatha Christie’s, Ellery Queen’s and John Dickson Carr’s classic mysteries. When Melville is murdered in a cage elevator that is stuck between the second and third floor of the mansion, Robin must solve an impossible murder, because only Melville is in the car, but the murder had to have been committed by someone inside the elevator.
Visit Phillip Margolin's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Woman with a Gun.

The Page 69 Test: Violent Crimes.

The Page 69 Test: The Third Victim.

The Page 69 Test: The Perfect Alibi.

The Page 69 Test: A Reasonable Doubt.

--Marshal Zeringue