On the Nickel

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the first half of Toussaint's middling second Cleopatra Jones mystery set in rural Maryland (after 2008's In for a Penny), accountant Cleo worries a lot about her mother, Mama, getting arrested for the fatal hit-and-run of Mama's archenemy and fellow Episcopal church member, Erica Hodges, in the church parking lot. When Cleo's supposed friend, Det. Britt Radcliff, finally arrests Mama for murder, Cleo is relieved that at least she no longer has to worry about sticking her in an old folks' home. In addition to trying to save Mama from the pen, Cleo must take care of two teenage daughters, ward off a pushy ex-husband, and hang onto her golf pro lover. Aging baby boomers may take offense at the portrayal of mid-60s Mama and her friends as feeble, arthritic, and doddering, while those who prefer clean cozies should be prepared for some frank sex talk. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Cleo (In for a Penny) witnesses an altercation between her mother and Mom's mortal enemy, a woman who doesn't care whom she hurts in order to get her own way. Then the woman is run over by a car, and the evidence points to Cleo's mother. VERDICT Cleo is noisy and pushy and spends too much time thinking about sex, but in the end she finds the killer. Purchase if the budget allows.
Kirkus Reviews

Just when life is finally improving for divorced accountant Cleopatra Jones, a secret from the past reaches out to bite her Mama.

After years of putting up with rude, pushy behavior from town doyenne Erica Hodges, Cleopatra Jones' Mama finally blows her top at a church meeting. When Erica is found run over in the church parking lot, Mama is naturally a prime suspect. Since her friend Detective Britt Radcliff seems stuck on Mama as the guilty party, Cleo is forced to investigate Erica's death. But Mama refuses to explain the recent damage to her car Cleo has noticed. At the same time, Cleo has her hands full with her cheating ex-husband, who's trying to get her back, her heavily pregnant Saint Bernard and her sexy golf pro, Rafe Golden, who's improving more than her game. Once she finds time to investigate, Cleo learns that not only was Erica hated by most everyone who knew her, including her two children, but that after running through a large fortune, she'd been getting along by indulging in blackmail. Mama's feud with Erica goes all the way back to their early boyfriends, one of whom Mama is now secretly dating again. When Mama's car is identified as the murder weapon, she's arrested, and Cleo must put herself in danger to ferret out the truth.

The second in this amusing and romantic series (In for a Penny, 2008) is a welcome addition to the cozy ranks.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594149542
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 3/16/2011
  • Series: A Cleopatra Jones Mystery
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    fans will enjoy this fun whodunit

    In Maryland, accountant Cleo Jones worries about her Mama's recent behavior, which culminated with Police Detective Britt Radcliff recently arresting her for vehicular homicide in a hit-and-run. Mama's enemy Erica Hodges was killed in the parking lot of the Trinity Episcopal Church where they both attended. She refuses to offer any alibi for where she was the night of the death and why her headlight is busted.

    Cleo breaths a bit easier because sexagenarian mama will become a ward of the state and she will not have to place her in an assisted living home. Single mom Cleo raises her two teenage daughters Charla and Lexi while thwarting the advances of her former husband Charlie and trying to break par with golf pro Rafe Golden.

    The second Cleopatra Jones amateur sleuth (see In for a Penny) is an engaging tale as Cleo tries to break par, figure out what Charlie wants as he sent his alimony check early, and resolve Mama's geriatric crisis. Although the older boomers like mama and her friends make being sixty the new eighty, fans will enjoy this fun whodunit.

    Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This book is worth every penny you pay for it!

    Cleopatra Sampson Jones was an accountant, mother, daughter, girlfriend and unfortunate ex-wife to a man that did not understand he was never coming back into her life. But Cleo is really good at puzzles and figuring things out and now she is doing all this making up the rules as she goes along because the last set didn't work out too well.

    What Cleo also is it turns out is an amateur sleuth much to the distress and displeasure of the local police force. She solved one crime already when the police could not and she is pretty good at this investigating stuff must be the puzzle solver in her. She needs to use all of her investigating tricks now that her mother is being accused of murdering a local woman her mother was not fond of. Cleo sure as heck is not going to sit back and let the police falsely accuse her mom of murder even if Cleo is not quite 100% sure her mom didn't do it especially with the two women fighting all the time and that damage to mother's car, dang it.

    But leave it to Cleo to deal with her teenaged daughters, a pregnant dog and a hot as heck boyfriend who she just can't get enough of without skipping a beat. Life is complicated but Cleo will figure it out and save her mom from going to prison all before the dust settles and her ex-husband tries anymore of his useless tricks to get her back.

    What a complete an utter delight this book is. Cleo is a wonderful character and all the people in her life just add icing to the cake to make the book a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book and can't wait for the next one in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2011

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