Silence Is Golden (Connor Westphal Series #6)by Penny Warner
There's gold in them thar hills again, but only trace amounts in this sixth Connor Westphal mystery. No one in Flat Skunk, Calaveras County, California, puts much stock in old Sluice Jackson even when he's sober, but there's no denying that what he's just pulled out of his miner's poke has a persuasive shine to it. "Gold," says Sluice, displaying a tooth-sized nugget.… See more details below
There's gold in them thar hills again, but only trace amounts in this sixth Connor Westphal mystery. No one in Flat Skunk, Calaveras County, California, puts much stock in old Sluice Jackson even when he's sober, but there's no denying that what he's just pulled out of his miner's poke has a persuasive shine to it. "Gold," says Sluice, displaying a tooth-sized nugget. First witnesses to the find-if indeed it is one-are Connor, demon reporter (sexy and deaf), and p.i. Dan Smith, her lover (an attentive hunk). Since both like bucolic Flat Skunk the way it is, neither feels sanguine about the prospect of prospectors descending en masse. And they're right to be concerned, since a virulent case of gold fever is accompanied by the expected vicious behavior. For starters, someone burns down Sluice's cabin. Then there's a pair of killings, brutal and inexplicable. Meantime, Josh Littlefield, an old college friend of Connor's, suddenly turns up in Flat Skunk-a "deafie" married unhappily to a "hearie." Could they be in any way connected to Sluice's strike? When Sheriff Mercer arrests Josh on a charge of homicide, Connor knows it's time to dust off her Nancy Drew cap. Legally perky Connor (Blind Side, 2001, etc.) continues to appeal despite criminally porous plotting.
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She moved from San Francisco to Flat Skunk in the Sierra Nevada gold country to lead a serene life style. Lately life in the former boomtown is anything but peaceful. Connor Westphal is a bit skeptical when local resident Sluice Jackson, the town¿s eccentric and oldest living prospector, finds a gold nugget in the Buzzard Hill mine. The gold played out a long time ago but the owner is a little too quick, to Connor¿s way of thinking, to accept Sluice¿s claim and develop a plan that would invite investors. While most of the town is infected with gold fever, Connor is busy getting reacquainted with Josh, her ex-lover from college. He and his young daughter and ex-wife are in town to obtain a cochlea implant for the child. When Josh¿s ex-wife is murdered the sheriff arrests him for the crime; Connor promises him she will find evidence to clear him. While Connor is trying to clear Josh, she comes to the attention of the real killer who is determined to silence her permanently. Although the protagonist of SILENCE IS GOLDEN is deaf, she is much more aware of the world around her then people who aren¿t hearing impaired. She is very at ease in her own skin and leads a very extraordinary life (even if she could hear sound) as she jumps from one dangerous situation to another. Penny Warner is a creative writer who knows how to develop fascinating characters that turn her novels, especially this amateur sleuth tale, into action packed winners for readers. Harriet Klausner