A Real Basket Case

A Real Basket Case

4.6 6
by Beth Groundwater
     
 

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THE FIRST BOOK IN THE CLAIRE HANOVER MYSTERY SERIES
An Agatha Award Finalist for Best First Novel

Feeling neglected by her workaholic husband, forty-something gift basket designer Claire Hanover joins an aerobics class at the urging of her best friend Ellen. Divorced and bitterly unhappy, Ellen and most of the other women in the class add a little

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Overview

THE FIRST BOOK IN THE CLAIRE HANOVER MYSTERY SERIES
An Agatha Award Finalist for Best First Novel

Feeling neglected by her workaholic husband, forty-something gift basket designer Claire Hanover joins an aerobics class at the urging of her best friend Ellen. Divorced and bitterly unhappy, Ellen and most of the other women in the class add a little vicarious excitement to their lives by flirting with the handsome instructor, Enrique. In a moment of weakness, Claire agrees to let the charming Enrique come to her house to give her a massage. She realizes she has made a deadly mistake when Enrique is shot and killed in her bedroom and her husband Roger is arrested for the murder.

Determined to clear Roger’s name and save her marriage, Claire sets out to find the real killer, encountering drug dealers, jealous ex-girlfriends, and angry cops along the way.

Praise:
“A tense, exciting debut.”—KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Will appeal to Desperate Housewives fans and those who like cozies with a bit of spice.” —BOOKLIST

“A real winner! Don’t miss it.”—Maggie Sefton, bestselling author of Knit One, Kill Two

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

It is 1888, and in Emerson's latest, reporter Diana Spaulding is traveling to Maine to marry Dr. Ben Northcote. They stop in Liberty, NY, to meet the Grants, her estranged mother's new family, who run a summer hotel. When the body of a young woman is found under the hotel, Diana investigates. Not as dark as Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy books, this third entry of a planned four-book set featuring Diana (Deadlier than the Pen) by the author of the popular "Face Down" Elizabethan mysteries deals with similar issues of women living in 19th-century America. A gentle historical. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ12/06.]

Francis's Keely Moreno (Pier Pressure) is a foot reflexologist in Key West. Her boyfriend, Punt (yes, his name is Punt) Ashford is a wealthy hunk who also happens to be a private eye. Between massaging feet and getting death threats, Keely tries to solve a 20-year-old murder for which innocent Randy Jackson did the time in prison. In this disappointing cozy, readers will identify the murderer early and probably will not care what happens to any of the characters.

Despite running a gift basket business out of her home, empty nester ClaireHanover remains lonely and unfulfilled as her workaholic husband comes and goes. After being persuaded by a good friend to take an aerobics class, Claire gets into a sticky situation with the hunky instructor, who is shot to death in her bedroom. Holding the smoking gun is Claire's husband. Claire seeks to prove his innocence, stupidly placing herself in bad situations. Unfortunately for first novelist Groundwater, writing a cozy mystery involves more than just trying to be cute. Not recommended.
—Jo Ann Vicarel

Kirkus Reviews
Drugs and jealousy add up to a Rocky Mountain murder. Claire Hanover, a Colorado Springs empty-nester whose husband Roger's self-image is tied to climbing the corporate ladder, is restless and lonely. Although Claire's gift-basket business is fun and profitable, her divorced friend Ellen, who helped with the startup, suggests that gym classes will improve her mood and looks. When a buff aerobics instructor comes on to Claire, her old pal thinks a little fling would be just the thing. But after Enrique talks Claire into a massage at her home, he's shot there, and Roger arrives in their bedroom holding the murder weapon. Claire can only watch stunned when he's arrested for murder. Feeling betrayed, Roger moves out. Claire, certain he's innocent, starts sleuthing with the long-distance help of another friend, Ute shamus Deb Burch. Enrique, it seems, was not only servicing women at the health club; he was apparently dealing drugs. His boss Leon admires Claire's nerve but warns her not to poke around in his business. He suggests that she look at the ladies Enrique was involved with, a list that includes Ellen. Determined to find the culprit by enlarging the suspect pool before Roger's depression sinks him, Deb proceeds to break into the apartment of Enrique's girlfriend, intent on unearthing the necessary evidence before Claire's investigation makes her the next victim. A tense, exciting debut.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738727899
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Series:
A Claire Hanover Mystery , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
510,142
File size:
2 MB

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