Release Date:December 15, 2008
Book Preview: "A Village Shattered"
The Valley Retirement Village is the scene of a serial killer's revenge. Who is alphabetically killing Sew and So Club members, and why? When the newly-elected sheriff botches the investigation, Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty, widows living in the village, decide to solve the murders themselves. Dana, a mystery novel buff, and Sarah, a private investigator's widow, soon make a sobering discovery: they are also on the killer's list. Dana's beautiful daughter Kerrie, a news correspondent, arrives, complicating matters, but she quickly proves her value in the investigation. San Joaquin Valley fog hides the killer as well as hindering the murder case. The plot is sprinkled with romance as well as humor in this first novel of the Logan & Cafferty senior sleuth series.
This book was a pleasure to read, starts off with a bang and never slows down. The body count rivals that of a season in Cabot Cove, but I found the two protagonists much more realistic than Jessica Fletcher. The supporting characters are equally well fleshed out and quirky, and some of my favorite moments in the book are when the surviving Sew and So's are forced by the seemingly inept Sheriff to pair up and cohabit-ate for their own good. The inevitable clashes of personality and lifestyle occur despite the life or death situation, and Jean Henry Mead does a stellar job of handling this believably and humorously. Definitely a good read, plenty of suspects, and red herrings for any mystery lover!
Reviewed by: Dana Fredsti
Harold Samuels meticulously cleaned his trowel, washing bits of grass and soil down his kitchen sink. He was proud of the job he'd done. Settling his large frame in a favorite chair, he rested mud-caked boots on a distressed coffee table. He started with the comics and worked his way down the page to "Doonesbury." When the telephone rang, he tossed his paper aside to answer before the fourth ring.
"Whadda ya want?" He knew he sounded gruff.
"It's Sarah. How about having dinner with me tonight?"
Harold smiled in spite of himself. He liked plump blondes. He'd married two of them. "Just you 'n me?"
"Dana will be here."
Disappointed, he said, "You two women scairt of the bogey man?"
"I can't think of anyone we'd rather have protect us."
"A lotta widow women need protectin'. I gotta spread myself around."
"That's awfully nice of you, Harold. We'll expect you at seven o'clock."
"I guess I can make it."
"Good, and don't forget that aftershave you've been wearing lately."
"What kind's that?"
"The stuff that gives us goosebumps."
Harold slathered himself with his dwindling supply of vanilla extract. He had forgotten to ask about the menu, but envisioned roast beef, mashed potatoes, and berry pie. He'd get rid of the Amazon after the main course and save the plump little widow for desert.