Soft-boiled stuff, but then that’s the way the target audience likes its eggs.

PARTNER IN CRIME

After fifteen J.P. Beaumont mysteries (Devil’s Claw, 2000, etc.) and nine Joanna Bradys (Paradise Lost, 2001, etc.), it’s clearly time for a Beaumont-Brady, though the joint case isn’t terribly challenging to either sleuth. The tale begins in Cochise County, Arizona, Sheriff Brady’s turf, when talented young artist Rochelle Baxter is found dead the night before her first-ever one-woman show. Homicide? Yes, indeed, complicated by the fact that there never was a Rochelle Baxter. The late headliner was actually Latisha Wall, who’d been stashed away in a witness protection program pending a court appearance in behalf of the state of Washington. Enter former Seattle homicide cop Beaumont, currently a special investigator for Washington’s bristling attorney general, a boss who’s hopping-mad over the loss of his star witness. Back when she answered to Latisha, the ex-marine painter had worked for a private prison corporation—until she blew the whistle on her crooked higher-ups. Was it these self-same lowlifes who did for Latisha, or was it a disappointed lover whose fingerprints have turned up in suspicious proximity to her body? Beau’s been dispatched because his big-city masters don’t trust “some little wet-behind-the-ears cowgirl” to conduct a proper investigation. Item: Beau and Joanne don’t like each other. Item: Beau and Joanne operate at cross-purposes. Item: Beau and Joanne have an ah-ha moment after which they perceive each other’s true worth and crack the case.

Soft-boiled stuff, but then that’s the way the target audience likes its eggs.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2002

ISBN: 0-380-97730-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2002

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An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

A KILLER EDITION

Too much free time leads a New Hampshire bookseller into yet another case of murder.

Now that Tricia Miles has Pixie Poe and Mr. Everett practically running her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, she finds herself at loose ends. Her wealthy sister, Angelica, who in the guise of Nigela Ricita has invested heavily in making Stoneham a bookish tourist attraction, is entering the amateur competition for the Great Booktown Bake-Off. So Tricia, who’s recently taken up baking as a hobby, decides to join her and spends a lot of time looking for the perfect cupcake recipe. A visit to another bookstore leaves Tricia witnessing a nasty argument between owner Joyce Widman and next-door neighbor Vera Olson over the trimming of tree branches that hang over Joyce’s yard—also overheard by new town police officer Cindy Pearson. After Tricia accepts Joyce’s offer of some produce from her garden, they find Vera skewered by a pitchfork, and when Police Chief Grant Baker arrives, Joyce is his obvious suspect. Ever since Tricia moved to Stoneham, the homicide rate has skyrocketed (Poisoned Pages, 2018, etc.), and her history with Baker is fraught. She’s also become suspicious about the activities at Pets-A-Plenty, the animal shelter where Vera was a dedicated volunteer. Tricia’s offered her expertise to the board, but president Toby Kingston has been less than welcoming. With nothing but baking on her calendar, Tricia has plenty of time to investigate both the murder and her vague suspicions about the shelter. Plenty of small-town friendships and rivalries emerge in her quest for the truth.

An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0272-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

This ran in the S.E.P. and resulted in more demands for the story in book form than ever recorded. Well, here it is and it is a honey. Imagine ten people, not knowing each other, not knowing why they were invited on a certain island house-party, not knowing their hosts. Then imagine them dead, one by one, until none remained alive, nor any clue to the murderer. Grand suspense, a unique trick, expertly handled.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 1939

ISBN: 0062073478

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1939

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