Leave it to Claire Malloy, owner of the Book Depot in Farberville, to start out having tea with retired schoolteacher Miss Emily Parchester and end up investigating a murder. An avant-garde artist who moved into a house on Willow Street has the whole neighborhood up in arms. His “interactive art,” complete with a nearly nude model and a coffin in the front yard, is attracting a mob of noisy gawkers. Irate residents are worried about declining property values. The local mystery writer cannot meet her deadlines with the constant clatter. And when the artist’s estranged wife rolls up in a limo and announces to one and all that she intends to have him committed to a mental institution, all of Farberville is in a dither. But before the night is out, even stranger things happen: the volatile artist’s house goes up in smoke, a dead body is found inside the coffin, the artist is promptly arrested for murder…and Claire Malloy, devoted amateur sleuth that she is, starts snooping where she doesn’t belong.
It has been really cold here the last couple of days and this was the perfect book to curl up with and that’s exactly what I did. It’s a fast easy read with a twisted murder plot,teen angst,a troubled love relationship and an amateur private detective. What more could you ask for on a cold winter day.
This was the first time I read anything by Joan E. Hess but I’ve already moved on to #11 in the Claire Malloy Mystery Series and the weather is forecast to remain cold so bring me a hot cup of tea and a blanket and I’m set for the night.