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MAKE, TAKE, MURDER by Joanna Campbell Slan

MAKE, TAKE, MURDER

By Joanna Campbell Slan

Pub Date: May 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7387-2066-1
Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn

Struggling to make ends meet while dealing with a complicated love life? The worst is yet to come.

Her search for a missing paycheck takes Kiki Lowenstein into the dumpster behind Time in a Bottle, the beloved scrapbook store in which she’s acquired part ownership. Instead she finds a human leg. Since her husband was murdered, Kiki is used to threatening messages, but her anal-retentive co-owner Bama faints when the detectives show them a threatening note also retrieved from the dumpster. Bama has secrets of her own, which make her abusive husband beat her to a pulp and almost kill Kiki before the police arrive. And it’s not as if Kiki doesn’t have problems of her own. The man she loves is already married; her teen daughter has become awfully independent; and with Hanukkah and Christmas fast approaching, she has so little money that she’s forced to wear a jacket smelling of cat pee to survive the cold St. Louis winter. By contrast, her customer Cindy Gambrowski seemed to have it all, at least until Kiki found her leg. Investigation reveals that she was battered by her controlling husband, who’s high on the list of suspects. But Cindy’s hidden clues in her scrapbooks, and it’s up to Kiki to find them before she becomes the next victim.

Kiki’s adventures (Photo, Snap, Shot, 2010, etc.) are a cut above the usual crafting cozies. If the mystery is pedestrian, the characters are so well-developed that each installment leaves the reader yearning for the next.