Cooper, who's been alternating between standup comic Kimmey Kruse's adventures in Chicago (Funny as a Dead Comic, 1993) and down-home sagebrush mysteries (Dead Moon on the Rise, p. 247), gets a chance to fire both barrels at once when a hurry call to her ailing grandfather's bedside sends Kimmey home to Port Arthur, Tex. Aside from his longtime estrangement from Kimmey's grandmother, Me- Maw, there's nothing wrong with Paw-Paw's broken leg that time and better cooking than Kimmey's won't fix. But the family reunion among Me-Maw's relatives, the Foret sisters, isn't so benign: Leticia DuBois, with whom Me-Maw's been feuding for 45 years, has a fatally allergic reaction to a wasp sting. When Kimmey finds a jar containing two dead wasps in Leticia's car, she tells the police Leticia was murdered, but they're just as hostile as Leticia's son Willard, the hunkiest man Kimmey's ever met. Between the pressure she's getting from Barbara Sue Blanton, the wild child corseted into Bible-thumping by her charismatic Baptist preacher husband, and from Sal Pucci, the police detective who's followed her, uninvited, down from Chicago to look into the case, ingratiate himself with her relatives, and whisper lewd somethings into her ear, the big question isn't whether Kimmey can find Armand DuBois, the wastrel who broke his engagement to Barbara Sue to marry Leticia--and then reportedly ran off with one of the Foret girls- -it's how many days Kimmey can survive the engorged bosom of her family. An affectionate portrait of Kimmey's wacky East Texas relatives: a short take too smart to overstay its welcome.