S.P. Hozy is the author of four novels set in Asia. A world traveller for most of her life, she is retired from the film industry, where she won numerous awards as a sound editor and currently works as a book editor, dividing her time between Malaysia and Toronto.
The Scarlet Macaw
A literary mystery where the people and the settings in the exotic East are paramount.
Two entwined mysteries unfold in two time periods in Singapore â€“ one in the present and the other in the 1920s. Artist Maris Cousins has lived in Singapore for four years, but the sudden death of her mentor, gallery owner Peter Stone, causes her to stop painting and leave Singapore to reconnect with her family in Canada. There she becomes immersed in the fictional stories of love and betrayal from Singaporeâ€™s past â€“ in first editions left to her by Stone â€“ written by a famous early-20th-century author, E. Sutcliffe Moresby.
Drawn back to Singapore and the gallery, she searches for answers to the mystery of three people â€“ a writer, his young wife, and their baby â€“ who seem to be linked to Stone. But along the way, Maris becomes caught up in circumstances involving smuggling and possibly murder.
Hozyâ€™s luscious prose makes this literary stand-alone a memorable read. Her talent for juggling multiple narrators (alternating between the present and 1920s Singapore) and interspersing with clue-laden short stories is impressive. Leisurely paced, it has tremendous crossover potential for non-mystery readers who favor classic tales such as those of W. Somerset Maugham.
Notable particularly for its vivid sense of place in modern Singapore.
Hozy's third mystery is a magnificent combination of two stories a century apart. ...Hozy skillfully transports readers between the two centuries and builds suspense with questions of who can be trusted.
What elevates The Scarlet Macaw from most other mysteries is its fervent grasp of the power of stories, and how important they are in providing a sense of self.