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by Lisa Bork

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7387-1952-8
Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn

Trying to finalize the adoption of their foster child puts a vintage-car dealer and her husband in peril.

In For Better, for Murder (2009), Jolene Asdale’s bipolar sister Erica gave her an unusual Christmas present: an infant girl, born to teenaged Abigail Bryce and her stickup-guy boyfriend Theo Tibble, who at least have the sense to know they’re in no position to raise a child. Baby Noelle has brought joy to Jolene, reuniting her with her husband, Deputy Sheriff Ray Parker. In their attempt to legalize the adoption, however, Jolene and Ray run into a strange obstacle. “Abigail Bryce” turns out to be an alias, and when Jolene discovers her at a racetrack in Canandaigua, she sees Noelle’s birth mother arrested for slashing Theo’s throat. Once in custody, the girl clams up despite the pleas of her lawyer, Catherine Thomas, who just happens to be Ray’s ex-girlfriend. All she’ll say is that Noelle is in too much danger for her to say anything more. A drive-by shooting at Noelle’s babysitter’s house convinces Jolene that whoever she is, the girl’s not kidding. So she leaves her mechanic, Cory Kempe, in charge of unloading her prize 2006 Ferrari Spider, which has been tricky to sell since a corpse was found in its front seat last year, so she can put her full energy into finding a killer and saving her beloved daughter.

Murder is one of the least interesting transgressions in Bork’s tale of deception and redemption.