It’s really nice to have a series of books where you look forward to reading the next one.
Leigh Koslow’s Aunt Bess is on the board of ‘The New Millennium Church’. Leigh is summoned to hospital where her aunt is being treated for burns and an an ankle injury, having apparently saved the new pastor, Reginald Humphrey, from burning alive in his parsonage.
The truth is somewhat different since Aunt Bess has her suspicions about Humphrey and had sneaked in to the parsonage to look for evidence. Humphrey arrived back however and while Bess was in hiding, someone threw a Molotov cocktail through the window. Trying to escape she fell down the stairs and was carried out by the pastor.
Subsequently the pastor goes missing and Leigh finds herself dealing with yet another mystery while trying to keep secrets from practically everyone, as well as sorting out her complicated relationship with her neighbour.
Edie writes those novels that fit into the ‘cosy murder’ genre although labeling them thus would be doing her a disservice. She does pay close attention to plot, and I have so far always been surprised and blindsided by the subtlety of her clues and last minute revelations.
She almost stretches the boundaries of credibility here at one point but just about gets away with it.
Her strength is her characterisation, as she manages to deftly sketch even the minor characters into living breathing real people.
Got the next two lined up now.
Leigh Koslow returns in the second of Claire’s delightful series. To earn some extra cash Leigh has taken a part time job at the zoo with an old crush, zoo vet Mike Tanner. Having worked late to help Tanner perform an operation, Leigh is drawn to a light in the tiger keeper’s hut and finds the place awash with blood and foolishly picks up a bloodstained knife. Venturing out she notices something in the tiger enclosure; some severed limbs, one of which is an arm sporting several familiar rings. They belong to Leigh’s childhood nemesis Carmen Koslow.
Leigh becomes the chief suspect in the murder and needs to call on her friends to help her investigate and clear her name.
It’s a very enjoyable and somewhat cosy murder mystery, boasting an array of great characters, some of whom will be familiar from volume one, ‘Never Buried’.
Pleasingly it also features a refreshingly surprising ending. I’m very much looking forward to reading more.
Times change so fast. I had not realised while reading that this book was published in 1999. My main thought at several points was ‘Does no one have a mobile phone?’
The policeman in charge of the case has one but everyone else seems reliant on landlines, answering machines and payphones.
I think I preferred it when life was like that, but without the murders.
Leigh Koslow is staying with her pregnant cousin Cara, whose husband is currently in Tokyo on business. Things begin to get a trifle spooky when a ten-year old embalmed corpse is left in a hammock in their garden with a note saying ‘Get Out Of My House!’
Indeed, the corpse appears to be the former owner, and his unexpected appearance sets the girls on a trail of detection which uncovers a fifty year old murder mystery.
I found this novel free on Amazon, and it was a very pleasant surprise. The story is very much character driven and Claire does have a gift for memorable characters. These do seem like real people, and it makes a change from some of the interchangeable characters who have featured in some of my recent reading.
It builds to a tense – if somewhat rushed – denouement, but was none the less satisfying for that. I look forward to reading more of these.