The Night in Question is a biographical cozy by Susan Fletcher. This mystery novel being more a biography of main character Florrie Butterfield than a cozy tried my patience. Florrie Butterfield may be an interesting little old lady but she is not interesting enough for a biography.  Available at Amazon

As for the crime: the manager of the rest home where Florrie resides has fallen out of or was pushed out of a window and she is on life support. Slightly less than a third of the chapters involve investigating.

Susan Fletcher often hints that Florrie Butterfield has had an interesting life, what with marrying a gay man so he could become a diplomat and she could fulfill her wish to travel and having a mysterious scar on her arm, but Fletcher never gives enough details to make all this really interesting. All the reader really gets is things like Florrie went to Africa and saw some elephants. There is also a reveal very, very late in The Night in Question, that Florrie had a child out of wedlock. Nothing is done with that either.

Eventually, the reader learns the manager of Florrie’s rest home has a secret past and that past may have caught up with her. Just when the reader finally gets that almost only clue, Florrie detaches herself from her sleuthing associate, a gentleman named Stanhope Jones because she feels she may be getting too close to him. Nothing in the novel warrants this and in the end it is as if it never happened.

In the end, the mystery is solved. The reader feels no great satisfaction about that.

The Night in Question
Susan Fletcher
Doubleday 2024
384 pages

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