Books by Carol Cail

Released: July 10, 1996

In her third appearance, amateur sleuth Maxey Burnell (Unsafe Keeping, 1995, etc.), editor of a Colorado weekly called Blatant Regard, proves that you can indeed go home again and even exorcise the ultimate Freudian nightmare: that your father might have killed your mother. This time out, Maxey, who's splitting with husband Reece, needs a change of scenery, and so she flies off to her old hometown in Nebraska to stay with Aunt Janet and cousin Curtis. The initial surprise is that uptight Janet is living with free spirit Scotty Springer. But surprises of a more unpleasant sort happen when Maxey noses around into the ten-year-old killing of her mother. Folks start getting very frosty when she asks about the unsolved case; then she discovers that her father Deon, whom she's thought long dead, is very much alive. And Janet saw him leaving the scene of that long-ago murder. Maxey visits him and is convinced, even when he seems wary and only guardedly affectionate, that he didn't do it. Her father seems eager, however, for her to leave the past undisturbed. But if he didn't do it, who did? An ex- lover of her mother's who wanted the affair kept secret? And what was the relationship between Mom and her childhood friend Sophie Otis? Something . . . irregular? Characters dominate, in a laid-back believable way, in a genre that's usually plot-driven. The result: a novel about small-town Americana that also satisfies as a whodunit. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 21, 1995

A rash of runaway carsvehicles parked on hills with their parking brakes mysteriously releasedis bedeviling the citizens of Boulder, Colorado. Blatant Regard reporter and co-owner Maxey Burnell gets swept up in the epidemic when her own car narrowly avoids one of the runaways. But it's a second incidentwhich leaves her landlady's grandson, Timothy Waterford, with a broken wrist and his grandmother with a hundred other broken bonesthat makes Maxey determined to find the perp, even without the help of inattentive City Detective Sam Russell, who's neglecting her salacious phone messages as he pursues a cute new colleague. Meanwhile, Celia Vogle, an artist equally outraged over a hotshot developer's plans to raze the historic Gunderloy house (a landmark century-old brothel), is attacked and left for dead while she's collecting petitions to save the housepetitions that don't prevent a similar attack on Maxey herself by the arsonist bent on adding the Gunderloy house to his list of targets. How is Elizabeth Waterford's murder connected to the spate of arson and runaway cars? Maxey's a standup heroine, but her low-octane hardcover debut is fueled by little more than a rap sheet of felonies, with a climactic confession that's practically an apology. Read full book review >