Books by Lynne Murray

A TON OF TROUBLE by Lynne Murray
Released: July 15, 2002

"Jo's fourth adventure (At Large, 2001, etc.) has a dashed-off feeling and a solution to which the sleuth is incidental. The characters are quirky, all right, but the humor is strained."
Curiosity prompts Seattle shamus Josephine Fuller to accept an invitation more wisely ignored: a visit to the Napa Valley winery of lecherous Wolf Lambert, who moonlights as a porn producer. Though Wolf's niche is "big beautiful women," the plus-sized Jo has so far parried his offers to make her a star. When Thor Mulligan, Jo's Frisco-based squeeze, can't get away, she goes solo. At Lambert Lair, Jo is welcomed by enormous redhead Thelma T, Wolf's gal Friday and sometime star, and the crass Manx twins, Rod and Ringo. Journeymen porn stars, the Manxes are busy hitting on Jo when Wolf arrives, sloppy drunk. Inside one of the barrels he bangs into is the corpse of Steven Farquar, son-in-law of local power broker Carlo Baron, Wolf's closest neighbor and chief winery rival. Looking to close the case quickly, the police arrest Thelma, outraging Jo. Mulligan advises against taking up Thelma's cause, and there's a good chance that, if she pursues an investigation, Jo will lose a cushy regular gig with conservative matron Alicia Madrone. Naturally, she plows ahead anyway. Her twisty probe leads to a cadre of stealthy anti-abortion activists, through the ins and outs of the low-budget porn industry, and all around a family wine dynasty whose intrigues and grudges are as intricate and soapy as those of Falcon Crest.Read full book review >
AT LARGE by Lynne Murray
Released: July 9, 2001

"To reduce it to simpler terms: Too many storylines plus too many characters equals maximum confusion and minimum suspense."
Still recovering from the gruesome death of her best friend Nina West (Large Target, 2000), plus-size heroine Josephine Fuller is somewhat queasily exploring her feelings for Nina's lover Thor Mulligan. Meanwhile, she's on an assignment for her wealthy patron Alicia Madrone, working as a volunteer at the Women's Job Skill Center in Bremerton, an hour's ferry ride from Jo's apartment in Seattle. Is the Center worthy of Madrone's philanthropy? The question is still unresolved when humorist writer Ted Etheridge appears one day, looking for one-time volunteer Lucille Meeker. Jo has a history with Ted, who's not quite divorced from mountain climber Francesca Benedict, the woman whose affair with Jo's husband Griff led to Jo's divorce. Now Francesca has lodged a complaint against the Center, claiming that Lucille has stolen her laptop computer along with various files. But when Jo decides to follow up on this accusation by interviewing Francesca, she arrives at her apartment only to find her dead, killed by one of her ice axes, as her lesbian sister Isadora Freechild flees the scene. And that's only the beginning of a morass of plots and subplots, as Jo struggles to cope with the bad vibes in her apartment (eventually cured by a psychic); the presence of unsavory Dick Slattery in neighbor Maxine's apartment; a missing Cayman Islands bankbook showing millions on deposit, and much, much more. Read full book review >
LARGE TARGET by Lynne Murray
Released: April 1, 2000

"of dozens down to reasonable size."
Murray's second novel brings back plus-size p.i. Josephine Fuller (Larger Than Death, 1997), who lives in Seattle but does Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

A ``person of substance'' is what Alicia Madrone's ad calls for, and a person of substance is what she gets: full-figured Josephine Fuller, who's got just the right attitude (and enough of it) to work as an undercover cop filing reports on prospective recipients for Mrs. Madrone's feminist philanthropy. But the real action comes on one of Josephine's rare days off, when she arrives for a visit with her old friend, Nina West, of Luna Moth Fashions, to find Nina with her throat horribly cut and a notice posted in blood on the bathroom mirror: ``KILL THE WHALES.'' The manifesto seems to link Nina's death to the slayings of four previous queen-sized victims, a serial killer the Seattle police have dubbed Captain Ahab. But Josephine wonders if the killer might be a copycat trading on Ahab's notoriety to make a grab for Nina's inheritance—until she finds out that she herself is the principal legatee, along with a mysterioso called William Turnbow Crain. Venturing to enigmatic Crain's alleged home in remote Twila, Washington, at the will's urging, Josephine succeeds only in provoking another murder, even as suspects- -ranging from a preacher/pornographer out of Nina's colorful past to the Viking bachelor in her basement—are multiplying like the pounds insensitive diet guru Andrew Stack is urging Josephine to check into one of his franchises to shed. Josephine's solid detective work is marred by too generous a use of coincidence in the murder plot. Maybe next time, if Murray (Termination Interview, 1988, etc.) shows her heroine actually on the job, she'll have a case more worthy of her talents. Read full book review >