Now, let's talk a little about MEET ME AT THE MORGUE.
For one, it doesn't feature a P.I. or even a cop as the protagonist. Howard Cross is a parole officer who is convinced that his model parolee (on parole for a drunken vehicular manslaughter and seemingly punishing himself more than the courts did) is innocent when he's accused of a kidnapping, even though Cross himself saw the man with the boy only hours before the ransom note was delivered to his parents. From there, an extremely-tangled, but in the end, entirely logical mystery begins to unfold.
The interesting thing about this novel, at first, is that Cross has neither any experience as an investigator nor any business investigating this crime. Almost everyone believes Fred Miner committed the crime, or at least was an accomplice to it. Cross has nothing but his certainty that Miner is a good man who made a mistake and not a hardened criminal capable of stealing a child. And as he performs his initial investigation, he's certain of nothing else - not his methods or even his own motives. It lends a sort of charm to the story as we feel out Cross's character as he feels out his own situation.
Within forty pages, though, that all evaporates and Cross is solving the mystery like Lance Lawson on adderall. Each decision he makes turns out to be the exactly correct one and each step leads him unerringly to a bigger, more important piece of the puzzle and he seems to expertly weave them together in solving the crime.
I really don't know what happened there, but it affected my enjoyment of the novel. Don't get me wrong, the mystery is, as I said, complicated and tangled and fantastically spun, but Cross starts out as an interesting character and is quickly relegated to another generic, tough and smart guy solving a seemingly-impenetrable crime as easily as he'd tie his shoes. It was a disappointing development.
That said, the novel is very solid in terms of plot and if you care more about the mystery than character development, it should be right up your alley.