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Newsletter #90 June August, 2010

Mystery Reviews
by Geri Balter

        In Pane of Death by Sarah Atwell ($6.99), glass blower Emmeline Dowell agrees to help a competitor find the best setting for Peter Ferguson’s stained glass collection. She regrets her decision when Peter is murdered, his collection is stolen, and Emmeline is accused of the killing. When her police chief boyfriend seems to think she might be guilty, Emmeline is determined to prove her innocence. While her brother helps her investigate the suspects in the case, the killer is watching, waiting for the chance to silence her forever.

        In The Clockwork Teddy by John J. Lamb ($6.99), Brad Lyon and his wife Ashleigh travel to California to attend a teddy bear show and see their daughter Heather, a San Francisco police officer. It’s the first time Brad has been back since he left the San Francisco Police Department after being wounded. What he doesn’t expect is to be drawn into a murder case, especially one involving a robotic teddy bear. Brad, Ashleigh, Heather, and her fiancé Colin work together to find out who would steal a teddy bear, and who would commit murder to get it back. The clue to solve this murder lies within the teddy bear. Can they find it before the killer strikes again?


        The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear ($25.99) deals with the murder of Michael Clifton, a young cartographer, during World War I. His parents bring Michael’s journals to Maisie Dobbs, and ask her to find the young woman he had corresponded with before his death. During her investigation, she learns a great deal about Michael, his family, and the people he served with. The answers she finds change the lives of everyone, including Maisie, who finds both love and loss.

        In Death in Daytime by Eileen Davidson ($6.99), Alexis Peterson works on a soap opera called The Yearning Tide. When the head writer on the show is murdered after arguing with Alexis, she becomes the main suspect. And the police don’t seem to be looking at any other suspects, even though the head writer was hated by most of the cast. When Alexis finds the murdered body of the head writer’s husband as well, her determination to clear her name grows. But the killer isn’t about to let her find the truth.

        Abby Shaw is trying to get over her recent divorce and the death of her Aunt Grace in Candy Apple Dead by Sammi Carter ($6.99). She has inherited her aunt’s candy shop in Paradise, Colorado, and hopes to make a fresh start. Brandon Mills seems to be interested in her. When he makes a date with her and then stands her up, she’s more worried than angry. Then she finds out that his clothing store burned to the ground and his body was found in the rubble. His death is ruled a homicide. The evidence seems to point to Abby’s brother as the guilty party. Abby refuses to believe it, and is determined to prove his innocence.

        The Ever-Running Man ($7.99) is what Hy Ripinsky calls the man who is threatening his firm in this novel by Marcia Muller. He and his partners hire his wife, PI Sharon McCone, to find out who this man is and stop him. As she delves into the pasts of Hy and his partners, she learns some things that make her question Hy and their relationship. When she is almost killed, the investigation becomes personal. She is determined to find out the truth, even if it costs her marriage.
         In Death of a Gentle Lady by M.C. Beaton ($6.99), Mrs. Gentle has been trying to convince Hamish Macbeth’s superiors that his police station should be closed. Then her maid asks Hamish for help. She fears she will be deported. Hamish offers to marry her to keep her from being deported, and to keep his police station from being closed, since there are no quarters for married officers at his new post. The maid disappears before the wedding, and Hamish finds first Mrs. Gentle’s body and then the maid’s. He learns that the maid wasn’t who she pretended to be, and that Mrs. Gentle’s family all had motives for wanting her dead.

        In T is for Trespass ($7.99) by Sue Grafton, a sociopath calling herself Solana Rojas, an identity she has stolen from a licensed vocational nurse, is hired to take care Kinsey Milhone’s neighbor Gus after a fall. When a real estate agent mentions that the house where Gus lives is worth a great deal of money, she decides to take advantage of the situation. She drugs Gus and turns away everyone who tries to see him. Kinsey becomes worried and investigates, uncovering the identity theft. The false Solana is determined to make Kinsey pay for thwarting her.

        Some sisters don’t get along. In No Rest for the Wiccan by Madelyn Alt ($7.99), Maggie O’Neill’s sister Mel is pregnant and on bed rest, and Maggie agrees to help care for her and the kids. The first thing Maggie realizes is that Mel’s home has ghosts, and one of them is definitely unfriendly. While Maggie asks her friends to help her get rid of the ghost, she also gets involved when the husband of one of Mel’s friends is killed. Maggie thinks it’s murder, but the police aren’t so sure. When Maggie investigates, the killer is determined to make sure Maggie never finds the truth.

        In Dead Men Don’t Crochet by Betty Hechtman ($6.99), the new owner of a local shop refuses to pay Sheila for scarves she sold there on consignment. Molly and members of the Tarzana Hookers crochet group go with her to confront him. He’s murdered while they’re at the shop, and Sheila becomes prime suspect. Molly is sure Sheila is innocent, and sets out to uncover the real killer.



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