The Book Case by Nelson DeMille is a Kindle short story I downloaded from Kindle Unlimited (KU). This is a detective novel; the crime is the death of a bookstore owner. How did the owner die? He was killed by a falling bookcase. Refer to the title.
John Corey is the greatest detective ever known even if he must say so himself. He has been on the job for a long time, has a lot of experience, and is almost bored by the procedural nature of his job. This gives him time to exercise a sarcastic sense of humor throughout the story as he mentally reveals the secrets of being the greatest detective ever known. His experience tells him that he should only exercise his wry wit for the benefit of DeMille readers if he doesn’t want to muddle the investigation of a crime.
Corey is having breakfast when he is told by his boss to go to the Dead End Bookshop where an accident seems to have happened. Corey’s job is to determine if it was an accident. Finding the body of the owner crushed to death, Corey proceeds to make a list and talk to all possible usual suspects. Those include any close to or having a relationship with the owner. There is wife Mia and bookstore employee Scott. On the day of the murder, there was to be a book signing in the store by author and friend Jay K. Lawrence. Jay will arrive at the bookstore for the signing at 10:00. The owner was killed in the morning at 7:30. Corey collects details about Jay, Scott, Mia and Otis (dead owner) and puts them into his detection blender. He adds details about a few other people, such as a part-time employee and possibly other suspects that would have a financial interest in the demise of Otis Parker, and begins to stir.
Jay Lawrence a crime fiction novelist is of special interest. In his talks with Detective Corey, he seems to be ignorant of things a mystery novelist should know. Wife Mia is interesting because she works at home but doesn’t answer phone calls until Lawrence calls her. Detective Corey has asked Lawrence to call.
Lawrence adds up all the details and believes that he has the killer or killers in the building. He needs a confession. How can he possibly get one? He comes up with a way. It might be unethical. To tell what it is would be a spoiler. This is one of those novels where the ending is not a surprise; the way of getting to the ending is the entertainment value of the novel.
It is a short story. It is entertaining. It fills time.