I bought it until the eels

Grave Designs - Michael A. Kahn

Rachel is hired by the managing partner of her old firm to find out who or what is "Canaan."  At issue is the execution the will of a recently deceased (he died in flagrante) partner in the firm who had added a bizarre codicil to his will two years earlier. This addition  provided for the maintenance of Canaan's grave, which happened to be in a pet cemetery, yet to the best of everyone's knowledge, he had never owned a pet.


Kahn has woven an intriguing plot related to a book written by someone who had attended Barrett College that purports to relate the story of a lottery in a town that ceased to exist.  The story flows well and keeps the pages turning.  My only quibble was Paul, Rachel’s erstwhile ex-boyfriend who happens along at a convenient time with a copy of the book (he was a Barrett graduate, also) even though his knowledge of it is explained adequately.  I had hoped for a more satisfactory ending that might have involved some legal shenanigans rather than a moray eel. But it's Kahn's first and the legal end becomes more pronounced in later volumes.


Much like another of Kahn’s stories, this one also has a code as its key. It was hard to believe this was the first book by Kahn.  Having read a couple out of order, I’m now going to read them all in the proper sequence.  In this book, Rachel is still in Chicago, Benny has just been hired to teach, but Ozzie is still a presence.