You probably don’t know the neighbors as well as you think you do—not when they’re this full of surprises.
Everybody in Waldorf Pines, a gated community aspiring to be ritzy, knows everything there is to know about everybody else: Which wife is bedding the pool boy, which resident makes a nuisance of himself with ridiculous complaints, which old biddies are lesbians and which teenager is a bona fide sociopath. So when that pool boy is found dead in the pool and another body is burned to ashes in the woman’s locker room, the result of a fire that incinerated most of the building, everyone, including the local cop, assumes that Arthur Heydreich, the cuckolded husband, did it. Immediately arrested, he must be released when DNA indicates that the ashes are those of a man. Where then is his wife? Has she committed a double homicide? And why? Gregor Demarkian, the Armenian Hercule Poirot called in to make sense of matters, immediately realizes that misdirection is the key to understanding the mystery. Accordingly, he chats up the Waldorf Pines citizenry and uncovers many assumed identities, much blackmailing, quite a few red herrings and a plot twist so convoluted that even Demarkian’s hyper-smart wife Bennis can’t quite follow it.
Not top-of-the-line Haddam (Flowering Judas, 2011, etc.) but still enjoyable, like a night out doing nothing special with old friends.