A retired schoolteacher pits her sleuthing skills against con artists and hit men.
Although she’s in her 70s, Elsbeth Walters has recently solved a few crimes in her hill country Texas town. Naturally, she’s become unpopular with local law enforcement, but that doesn’t stop her when someone seeks her services. Her first client is Boose, a tough Texan with enough sex appeal to have corralled five wives. His family had raised $64,000 to support their momma in assisted living before a grifter conned her out of the money. Elsbeth also agrees to help Adele Kilgore, who wants to prove her husband’s death was murder, not suicide. Kidnapped and tortured by unknown hands, he ran his car into a tree in an escape attempt. It turns out Adele’s husband was a con man who picked a target with Mafia connections. Maybe that’s why the FBI is in town. Elsbeth picks up a handy helper in Gardner Burke, a retired forensic pathologist who fakes senility to get along in his disgraceful rest home, which Elsbeth’s investigating for a plethora of sudden deaths. Crooked businessmen, rattlesnakes, knives and guns are just a few of the things Elsbeth and Gardner must deal with in order to solve the crimes.
Cartloads of down-home humor, amusing characters and a hint of romance for the feisty heroine make for an agreeable, if not especially innovative, read.