In 1972, Annie Pohlman, a criminology student, travels to Munich to interview the legendary German homicide detective of the 1930's, Fritz Stecher, who desperately needs to tell someone about the case of Geli Raubal. In 1931, Geli is found dead in Hitler's apartment. The official ruling is suicide. Since Hitler is only one of several competing politicians trying to rise to the top and Fritz's superiors loathe the Nazi, they assign him to quietly investigate the murder.
Almost immediately, Fritz decides that circumstantial evidence points towards murder, probably arranged or even done by Hitler. As Fritz gets closer to learning the truth, he finds his own life in danger from Hitler's Brown Shirts, who want the investigation stopped so that their leader's rising political power does not abruptly crumble. Fritz also has problems with the government, especially with the Ministry of Justice. If Fritz is to successfully complete his most difficult case, he will have to proceed with great caution and incredible speed.
The premise behind HITLER'S ANGEL is quite clever (a real case from the 1930's) and the use of flashbacks works exceedingly well. Fritz, who tells the entire story, is a great senior citizen, who seems grandfatherly and wise. However, Annie is not well-developed and Fritz's apartment seems lacking as a backdrop with Munich preparing for the Olympics just outside the building. Kris Rusch shows her highly regarded fantasy story telling ability easily crosses genres into the historical mystery realm, but what could have been a classic falls a bit short. Still, this very good book is worth reading by fans of the writer and readers of historical mysteries.