The eleventh novel in her Murder By The Month series brings sometime librarian-cum-private investigator Mira James squarely up against some respected town leaders. Mira is angling to become a licensed P.I. and needs many hours of supervised investigation in order to qualify. Given that her account in the local Battle Lake bank is flatter than the pancakes served at the local eatery, she has two powerful motives to take on the investigation of a local philanthropist and business man’s murder by his long time buddy.
November in Minnesota can be cold. Not only does the weather provide impediments, so do many of the town’s citizens, but Mira perseveres against bone-cracking cold and icy stares. The author is a good writer and the story is enhanced with clever characters, and a lot of tongue-in-cheek dialogue.
The series is known for the self-deprecating insouciance of the main character and her slightly twisted outlook on life. The danger of this kind of approach is in going over the cliff. Sometimes the impact of a really powerfully crafted scene can be lessened by the odd verbal swipe.
The plot is well designed and while there are few large surprises, the author spins this tale tightly and nicely to its conclusion with the aid of several interesting and amusing characters. This edition contains a series of discussion questions which can be useful to book clubs.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I note that the author and I are long-time acquaintances.
-- Carl Brookins www.carlbrookins.com http://agora2.blogspot.com, Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky