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A REAL BASKET CASE by Beth Groundwater

A REAL BASKET CASE

By Beth Groundwater

Pub Date: March 21st, 2007
ISBN: 1-59414-547-4
Publisher: Five Star

Drugs and jealousy add up to a Rocky Mountain murder.

Claire Hanover, a Colorado Springs empty-nester whose husband Roger’s self-image is tied to climbing the corporate ladder, is restless and lonely. Although Claire’s gift-basket business is fun and profitable, her divorced friend Ellen, who helped with the startup, suggests that gym classes will improve her mood and looks. When a buff aerobics instructor comes on to Claire, her old pal thinks a little fling would be just the thing. But after Enrique talks Claire into a massage at her home, he’s shot there, and Roger arrives in their bedroom holding the murder weapon. Claire can only watch stunned when he’s arrested for murder. Feeling betrayed, Roger moves out. Claire, certain he’s innocent, starts sleuthing with the long-distance help of another friend, Ute shamus Deb Burch. Enrique, it seems, was not only servicing women at the health club; he was apparently dealing drugs. His boss Leon admires Claire’s nerve but warns her not to poke around in his business. He suggests that she look at the ladies Enrique was involved with, a list that includes Ellen. Determined to find the culprit by enlarging the suspect pool before Roger’s depression sinks him, Deb proceeds to break into the apartment of Enrique’s girlfriend, intent on unearthing the necessary evidence before Claire’s investigation makes her the next victim.

A tense, exciting debut.