A romance writer and part-time sleuth has to work a case much too close to home.
In a panicked phone call, her son, Graham, tells E.J. Pugh (Dead to the World, 2015, etc.) that his University of Texas roommate has been stabbed to death. Even worse, Graham’s afraid he might be the stabber. Graham often dreamed of killing Bishop Alexander, who may have been the most obnoxious roommate ever, and when Graham wakes up to find the guy in a pool of blood, he can’t believe he slept through a murder. E.J., her husband, Willis, and their three same-age (don’t ask) teen daughters head for Austin. The police, in the form of Detective Champion, think Graham is their killer, especially after hearing a few stories about the roommates’ verbal fights. But E.J. soon discovers that Graham is just the latest in a long line of people who hated Bishop, even though Gretchen Morley, the ex-girlfriend who keyed his car and sent him Ex-Lax brownies after he dumped her, cries crocodile tears and claims she loved him. E.J. calls on her neighbor and friend homicide detective Elena Luna, who knows Champion and agrees to come to Austin after Willis and the girls leave for home. Not content with the work of Graham’s lawyer, E.J. urges Champion to use Luminol to prove Graham had no bloodstains on or near him. She’s none too happy to learn that a bloodstain found on Graham’s mattress was the result of a drunken night with a woman who becomes Graham’s new squeeze and fierce defender. If it were not for the dead body, the whole mess would seem like a comedy of errors featuring a corpse who’s apparently unmourned even by his wealthy mother.
Lively and mysterious: above average for this brashly comic series.