DOVE IN THE WINDOW by Earlene Fowler


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A fifth go-around for Benni Harper (Goose in the Pond, 1997, not reviewed, etc.), the ranch-bred widow of Jack Harper, who’s now married to San Celica, California, Police Chief Gabe Ortiz. San Celica is having a Heritage Days celebration, and Benni, as curator of the Folk Arts Museum and Artists Co-op, is in the thick of it. Her elegant southern cousin Emory Littleton (with a mega-crush on Benni’s best friend Elvia Aragon) is staying with her, and at her father’s ranch, presided over by Grandmother Dove, a huge family gathering is in progress. Disaster strikes when talented young photographer Shelby Johnson is found dead one early morning—murder or accident? Ranch-hand Kip Waterman and hard-drinking Wade Harper, brother of Benni’s late husband, had come to blows over Shelby the night before. Matters worsen when, days latter, Kip’s drowned body is discovered behind the Frio Saloon. Through it all, Benni has to calm her artist friends Olivia Contreras and Greer Shannon, deal with a zillion chores, and cope with the unexpected presence of renowned photographer Isaac Lyons, Shelby’s stepgrandfather, who seems smitten with Grandma Dove. In the end, it’s Benni’s investigative collaboration with Isaac (over Gabe’s strong objections) that brings a killer to a kind of justice. The quest for whodunit is all but buried under Benni’s breezy down-home chatter, sometimes mawkish soul-searching, and descriptions of the celebration’s endless events—from the local gallery’s show of women artists to the Cow-Plop contest. But Benni’s warmly likable persona makes it all worthwhile—especially for lovers of the cozy genre.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-425-16299-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1998


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