A SECOND CHANCE TO DIE
For his favorite charity, the high school drama club, Willard Platt fakes his own murder as an April Fool stunt. But the repeat performance later that day is the real thing. And some, including the next-door neighbor, say he deserved it.
Investigator (and ex-nun) Christine Bennett is haunted by the sad state of Willard's survivors. His widow roams the road at night. His son has a troubled marriage and bizarre secret life. Behind this suburban family's respectable facade, violent passions are seething. For this is not the first tragedy to strike them. Nor will it be the last. . . .
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Series:||Christine Bennett Series , #13|
|Edition description:||1 ED|
|Product dimensions:||4.16(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Lee Harris's e-mail address is email@example.com. She also had a Web site which she shares with three other mystery authors. It can be reached on the Internet at www.NMOMysteries.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
THE APRIL FOOL'S DAY MURDER is one of the most puzzling cases to date in this inventive holiday-themed series, and its eventual resolution tests both the author and her series heroine, former-nun-turned-amateur sleuth, Christine Bennett's ingenuity to the hilt. Dour, misanthropic Willard Platt is not a nice man. He is heartily disliked by most of his less charitable neighbors, but shortly after losing her own first encounter with the rough side of his tongue, Christine is absolutely horrified to discover his 'dead' body lying on his front lawn with a knife in its back only to learn (after she's called out the police) that his 'murder' was an April Fool's Day hoax aimed at the local high school drama club. However, the joke quickly turns sour just a few hours later when his wife finds him well and truly dead, stabbed to death with an unknown weapon, sprawled on the floor of their garage. Later that evening, Christine sees Mrs. Pratt wandering aimlessly along the road beside her house. Distressed by her plight, she drives the new widow to her son's home and is shockd by the lack of concern and degree of estrangement that apparently characterize the family environment. Moved by pity and her own innate need to set things right, Christine starts off on the track of a murderer who seems to have left no traces behind. When a look at the past turns up evidence of a previous tragedy in the Platt household, she gladly enlists the help of her mentor, series-regular Sister Joseph, who puts enough of the pieces together to point Christine in the right direction so that she is finally able to deduce first how and ultimately who was behind this seemingly unsolvable murder just in time to prevent a miscarriage of justice and provide a measure of healing and reconciliation to a deeply-troubled family. Whether you choose to call them cozies or mysteries of malice domestic, I've always believed that the mark of an author's mastery of that genre is that the reader should leave the writer's world feeling just a little bit better about hir own for having spent some time there. Lee Harris' novels alays have that effect on me, and I get great pleasure from their wonderful realism and compassionate characterizations.
Christine Bennett meets Willard Platt when her three-year-old son Eddie hits him with a shopping cart. Christine learns that Willard has filed many pesky lawsuits. Christine relates the incident to her spouse, New York City Detective Sergeant Jack Brooks, who also says that Willard is a disagreeable individual. On April Fool¿s Day, a driving Christine sees a man lying on the ground. She finds Willard dead with a knife in his back, but that proves false because he is working with the high school drama club. However, later that same day someone kills Willard. That night, a driving Christine sees a woman walking on a lonely street. It turns out to be Willard¿s widow trekking a mile and a half to her son¿s house. Perhaps it is a vestige of her fifteen years in a monastery, many as a nun, but the Good Samaritan Christine takes the woman to her son¿s home. There, Christine witnesses the ultimate dysfunctional family, which raises Christine's curiosity and her concern for Willard's wife. She begins to investigate what happened to Willard. Lee Harris¿ holiday murders are always a time to celebrate because they are typically among the year¿s best cozies. The latest tale, THE APRIL FOOLS¿ MURDER, is the usual well-written suburban mystery that hooks readers from start to finish as a seemingly innocent lamb of a plot turns into a roaring story line cozy-style. In her thirteenth appearance, Christine retains her freshness due to her caring nature and curiosity. Fans of the series will relish the newest entry while newcomers will know that the kudos bestowed on the Bennett novels are not April Fool¿s Day jokes. Harriet Klausner