"The St. Paul Conspiracy" by Minneapolis lawyer Roger Stelljes is a fast-paced, easy to read mystery/police procedural. The action is set in St. Paul, and many familiar locations set the backdrop for the story. This is a first novel by the author, and it introduces St. Paul Homicide Detective Michael McKenzie "Mac" McRyan as a character who re-appears in the author's later novels.
On the morning after Halloween, the body of Claire Daniels, the Twin Cities' most prominent political and investigative reporter, is found in a high-end condominium. She had been having an affair with U. S. Senator Mason Johnson, a married man. She is extremely beautiful, sexy, and a total perfectionist in her personal and work life.
On the night she is murdered, the Senator met her at her apartment, where sexual relations occurred. He left the apartment around 1:15 a.m., and was seen and recognized by two persons as he was walking back to his car. Routine police work place the time of death at around 1:00 a.m. and identify the Senator as a suspect. Thus, he is faced with a delicate political and criminal situation. He hires the "best lawyer in town" but in this novel, the focus is on the police work, and lawyers play minor roles.
McRyan, a young lawyer/detective leads a team of investigators to solve this murder, which garners lots of local media attention. He is provided with a love interest, a colorful team of police cohorts, and the skills to navigate police politics.
From the beginning of the novel, a black ops person nicknamed "Viper" is the identified as the real killer, and much of the novel deals with the mystery of who the killer is working for, and why. Of course, McRyan and the St. Paul police force solve the crime.
This novel is recommended for light entertainment, but not for insights into police procedure or the criminal justice system.