Conch Shell Murder

Conch Shell Murder

by Dorothy Francis
     
 

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Newly licensed Private Detective Katie Hasworth faces her first murder case with more than a little anxiety - not only is she a newcomer, but the Chitting family would give Sherlock Holmes a migraine. Who murdered Alexa Chitting before she had time to change her will, leaving her fortune to the Key West Preservation Society rather than to friends and family? Her… See more details below

Overview

Newly licensed Private Detective Katie Hasworth faces her first murder case with more than a little anxiety - not only is she a newcomer, but the Chitting family would give Sherlock Holmes a migraine. Who murdered Alexa Chitting before she had time to change her will, leaving her fortune to the Key West Preservation Society rather than to friends and family? Her husband? Lover? Daughter? Katie faces more questions than answers as she faces the dangers awaiting her as she solves his murder. From Publishers Weekly
In the wake of a traumatic classroom shooting, teacher Katie Hassworth turns private detective in Francis's stylish, fast-moving adult mystery debut, set in Key West. When an intruder bludgeons prominent entrepreneur Alexa Chitting to death with a conch shell in what appears to be a drug-related robbery at Alexa's marina office, the victim's daughter gets her close friend Katie to investigate. With her partner, Mac McCartel, away on another assignment, the less-than-secure Katie must do her best to crack her first case on her own. Conflicts over an endangered salt pond, an affordable housing project and a sudden change of will beneficiaries provide a murder motive for everyone from the panhandler selling information to the stunningly efficient manager of the Department of Community Affairs. An attractive and intelligent sleuth, Katie thoroughly explores all leads, albeit considerably distracted by the attentions of the town's tanned and handsome mayor, Rex Layton. Local lore, history, food, and fauna and flora add interest without overburdening a smoothly written and suspenseful tale. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Booklist
Francis, known for her mysteries for young adults, has written her first for adults. The story introduces Katie Haswoth, a recently licensed private detective in Key West. As a newcomer to the community, she faces a complicated case involving a prominent family. Alexa Chitting, owner of a prosperous marina, lies dead in her office. Someone killed her before she had a chance to sign a new will leaving her fortune to the Key West Preservation Society instead of her family and friends. The list of suspects includes her husband, lover, daughter, son-in-law, and secretary. The mayor and the housing-development director may be involved, too. Sorting out family entanglements and political corruption will give Katie a chance to establish herself as a detective if she can survive to solve the crime. Most Key West mysteries lean toward the hard-boiled, but this one gives cozy fans a chance to enjoy Margaritaville, too. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In the wake of a traumatic classroom shooting, teacher Katie Hassworth turns private detective in Francis's stylish, fast-moving adult mystery debut, set in Key West. When an intruder bludgeons prominent entrepreneur Alexa Chitting to death with a conch shell in what appears to be a drug-related robbery at Alexa's marina office, the victim's daughter gets her close friend Katie to investigate. With her partner, Mac McCartel, away on another assignment, the less-than-secure Katie must do her best to crack her first case on her own. Conflicts over an endangered salt pond, an affordable housing project and a sudden change of will beneficiaries provide a murder motive for everyone from the panhandler selling information to the stunningly efficient manager of the Department of Community Affairs. An attractive and intelligent sleuth, Katie thoroughly explores all leads, albeit considerably distracted by the attentions of the town's tanned and handsome mayor, Rex Layton. Local lore, history, food, and fauna and flora add interest without overburdening a smoothly written and suspenseful tale. (Apr.) FYI: Francis is the author of Blink of the Mind and many other YA mysteries. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Junior high-school teacher Katie Hassworth, traumatized when prepubescent Jon McCartel opened fire in the classroom—killing a classmate and wounding her before turning the gun on himself—has decided to try a less hazardous profession. Now she and Jon�s dad have joined forces as McCartel and Hassworth, Private Investigators, whose caseload normally leans heavily toward drug-related cases, at least until perky Diana Dade, who rents Katie an apartment in the upper floor of her Key West mansion, begs the willowy blond sleuth to solve the murder of Diana�s mother, socialite Alexa Chitting, conked with a conch in her plush marina office. Since Alexa had been on the verge of writing a new will leaving her vast holdings to the Key West Preservation Group, there�s no dearth of suspects: Alexa�s husband Porter, her lover Tyler Parish, her secretary Mary Bethel, even Diana�s husband Randy all stand to lose a bundle once the new will is signed. And Katie interviews every last one of them, along with nasty Elizabeth Wright, who manages the Department of Community Affairs and pregnant Angie Garcia, Po Chitting�s Cuban lover. But the interview that gives Katie the most bang for her buck is with Key West�s mayor Rex Layton, who wines her and dines her and gives her all the goosebumps that ex-husband David (or, as he's known in Chapter 24, Chuck) couldn�t generate. Even the hilarious solecisms ("she wouldn�t hear from Tyler Parish unless she instigated another call") can�t lighten YA author Francis�s sodden first novel for putative adults.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781432826482
Publisher:
Gale Group
Publication date:
03/02/2003
Sold by:
CENGAGE LEARNING
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,153,120
File size:
2 MB

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