The Street Rod Mystery by Judy Iverson is a spirited and engaging mystery about the disappearance of a young woman girl at a fifties car show. The girl is kept captive by a car-obsessed man who first fell in love with a 1959 Buick Electra 225 convertible. A huge manhunt begins for the young woman, while she tries to evade her captor, and we learn of his twisted impulses that led to the abduction, a plan that was thirty years in the making.
What makes The Street Rod Mystery unique is that it’s an ode to cars, as well as the fifties, in addition to a suspenseful and harrowing mystery. This isn’t a very dark book, although it is about a missing girl and a captor’s twisted fantasy. As the book centers around a “Back to Fifties” weekend, the narrative of the novel itself seems somewhat old fashioned. Far from that being a pejorative, it’s a comforting read as the clues to this mystery are unfurled.
The strength of a good mystery rests in its characters. The shifting perspectives of The Street Rod Mystery are all well established and insightful. This is not a traditional whodunnit, it is more a psychological study of all the players involved. As a result, this mystery works on several levels, both as a character piece and a suspenseful narrative.