The Sculptress -- Ma Titwonky

The Sculptress by Minette Walters was the 1994 Edgar Award Winner. It is the story of Olive Martin who was arrested, tried, and convicted to spend at least 25 years in prison for the murder and dismemberment of her mother and her sister. She is called "The Sculptress" for the strange figurines she carves in her jail cell.

Rosalind Leigh is a writer who has suffered personal tragedy of her own. She is assigned by her editor to write a book about Olive Martin; it is an assignment she does not want but has no choice but to accept.

Through the course of her interviews with Olive, Roz becomes convinced that Olive did not commit the crimes of which she has been convicted. While doing research for the book, Roz becomes more and more involved in Olive's story all the while using the information she uncovers to build (at least in her own mind) a case for Olive's innocence.

This is a very tightly crafted mystery that for me easily falls under the heading "just cannot put it down until I know who did it". As a matter of fact, when I finished this book I wished that Minette Walters had written other mysteries using Roz as the writer/detective of true crime events. There is something very likeable about Roz as Walters has written her, and it would be a pleasure to read more about this character.

I highly recommend this book to mystery lovers -- especially the ones who like to see if they can unravel the mystery before the ending explains it all. The trail Walters leaves for her readers to follow is not an easy one, but the end is very rewarding.


    I bookmooched this one because of your review. Thanks for recommending it.