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Posted June 28, 2009
Bailey Green has returned to Key West to help her elderly friend, Francine Shipton. She will live in a guest cottage at the Eden Palms estate while working as her secretary and gofer on a project to help the homeless on the island. It also gives Bailey a chance to at least work on her music part time while she escapes the Iowa winter and recent painful memories. A good plan for both Bailey and Francine and one that both are very much looking forward to as the novel begins.
Too bad Francine Shipton is dead.
While Bailey was waiting at the airport for Francine to pick her up, neighbor Winton Gravely discovered Francine lying dead at the bottom of the stairs in her house. Of course it could have just been a freak accident that resulted in an accidental death. If it was an accident, how would one explain the fact that a dead black snake was wrapped around her neck twice with the head shoved through Francine's mouth and deep into her throat?
Clearly, it was murder though the police don't seem to want to accept the obvious in the beginning. The question is who did it? The suspects are many, the clues few, and before long Bailey Green has set her music aside in favor of sleuthing.
Featuring the same quirky characters as her other books set in Key West, author Dorothy Francis once again brings Key West to life for readers. Along with plenty of historical trivia and cultural nuggets, eccentric characters and a hint of romance, there is greed, deceit and murder in this latest cozy style novel. Homage is paid to the mystery masters as well with an early scene depicting all the suspects and the police detective gathered together in the solarium.
An enjoyable novel from start to finish, one wonders if this is the first novel in a planned new series. If so, this book is a rock solid foundation to build from. If not, this latest cozy style novel from the author is another very enjoyable read and one worthy of your attention.
Kevin R. Tipple (copyright) 2009
Posted September 29, 2008
Her late mom¿s friend Francine Shipton invites Des Moines based blues singer Bailey Green to spend time living in her guest cottage on her Eden Palms estate. However, Bailey is shocked when her hostess fails to pick her up at the Key West Airport as arranged. She soon finds out why when she arrives at Eden Palms to see police Detectives Cassidy and Burgundy investigating the death of Francis. --- Francine¿s son Zack tells Bailey to use the guest cottage. He also asks her to help him look into his mother¿s death as he explains she made enemies when she decided to convert the estate into a homeless shelter. The cops look into the alibis of neighbors, realtor Courtney Lusk, Dr. Winton Gravely who found the body and funeral director Tucker Tisdale as well as yardman Mitch Mitchell who is Bailey¿s brother under the witness protection program. While working with Zack on the homicide, she learns of a second murder that leads to her life being threatened. --- This is an enjoyable amateur sleuth tale in which the heroine is attracted to Zack, but does not trust him as she fears he may be the killer. The story line is fast-paced although Mitch¿s woes distract from the plot. Still readers will relish Dorothy Francis¿ latest Key West whodunit (see CONCH SHELL MURDER and COLD-CASE KILLER). --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.