A Texan two-steps a cop off the force and into a nasty freelance investigation, in the latest from Fanning (Written in Blood, 2005, etc.).
Molly Mullet gave up her teaching job to become a police officer after her husband was murdered in a holdup. She’s working security at Solms Halle, a historic Hill Country venue, when the manager of Trenton Wolfe’s band is found strangled in a supply closet and her lifelong friend, mentally challenged janitor Bobby Wiggins, is arrested. Furious at her treatment by one of her colleagues, she quits the force and offers her services to Bobby’s lawyer. Positive that kindly Bobby could never commit such a horrible crime, she sets out to interview all the band members, looking for someone with a real motive. But only one is willing to talk to her. She does discover that Wolfe’s latest hit was stolen from a songwriter who’s mysteriously disappeared after telling his sister that he’d worked out a deal to get credit and money for the song. Molly literally falls on her face trying to track down clues. Constantly doubting her abilities as a sleuth, she slogs on after the murder of a second band member. With help from her friends, she solves the crimes before the murderer adds her to his list.
You have to admire newcomer Molly’s gumption, but not her investigative ineptness, especially when she’s confronted with a killer so easy to spot.