Proving the innocence of a special needs young man turns an amateur writer into an even more amateur sleuth.
As if Daisy Arthur doesn’t have enough to deal with, a late-night knock at her door while she’s reading the harsh criticism of fellow novice writer Dan Block ushers in a whole new set of problems. Daisy can’t possibly turn away her visitor, Ginny Caerphilly, her former special needs student and daughter of her sort-of boyfriend, Gabriel. When Ginny asks for help on behalf of her boyfriend, Brian, Daisy still can’t say no, though she has to lure Brian out from hiding in the trees before he’ll talk. Brian seems traumatized, and like Ginny, he has some developmental delays, so the most Ginny can get out of him is something about Mississippi. As soon as Brian takes off his coat and reveals that he’s smeared in blood, Daisy realizes that she has to call Gabe. Not only would he want to be there as Ginny’s father and Daisy’s whatever, but he’s also a Littleton police lieutenant. Daisy, Ginny, and Brian meet Gabe and his partner, Linda, at Gigantos, the grocery store where Ginny and Brian work. There, Gabe and Linda begin their investigation of Brian’s Mississippi—Cissy Melato—who's been found dead, with Brian as the key suspect. Determined to prove his innocence, Daisy’s convinced that Gabe is going after Brian only because he dates his daughter and that the only thing that will clear him is evidence she finds. But Gabe has been so stubborn and pigheaded lately that Daisy’s far from sure logic will help.
Sensitive readers may have trouble with the treatment of special needs characters even though Malik’s intentions in this series (Faith on the Rocks, 2013) seem more focused on a character-driven mystery aimed at women who can relate to Daisy’s imperfections.