Romance writer Carmen Pollini, who has anger-management issues, is accused of double homicide.
Just because truck driver Jake-the-snake threw her manuscripts out of his delivery van to land under its tires doesn’t mean Carmen killed him on her doorstep. Just because her agent Ethyl Gatz pilfered all her advances and royalties doesn’t mean Carmen killed her and left her body on her Taos doorstep either. For that matter, just because she argued with Dax Des Plains, a truly stupid male model, doesn’t mean she sneaked up on him and kneecapped him. But if not her, who? Perhaps the secret admirer who keeps sending her sexy lingerie. Or the e-mailer who bombards her with posts accusing her of plagiarizing his novel. Hugh “Chill” Blaines, the new sheriff in town, is temporarily at a loss but has to wonder whether the former sheriff, fired for sexual harassment, features in the mix, and whether Deputy Victoria Smith, who seems to have a dark secret in her past, comes into play. The answer, when it comes, is silly, arrives from deep left field and leaves one perp still out there to torment poor Carmen.
A plethora of cutesy personality traits—Carmen’s bad driving, Chill’s gum chewing, etc.)—a recipe for coyote flan and a zany murder weapon don’t provide a compelling case for the sequel Castle (Promise the Moon, 2002, etc.) clearly has in mind.