Saturday, December 22, 2007

Murder Melts in Your Mouth-Nancy Martin

Murder Melts in Your Mouth
Nancy Martin
Obsidian, Mar 2008, $22.95
ISBN: 9780451223111

There is never a dull moment in the Blackbird family and Nora the pragmatic one has to hold things together. Her sister Libby was hit by a Rolls Royce driven by a mysterious millionaire who is putting her up in the Ritz Carleton so she can fully recover from her trauma. She cajoles Nora into watching her five kids. Their other sibling tough talking, hard drinking Emma is pregnant and considering an abortion.

To add to Nora’s angst, her parents are back in town and they have a way of getting the government to investigate income tax evasion and by helping them their crimes which forced them to leave the country will be dropped. Nora’s best friend Lexie Paine’s partner Hoyt Cavendish was discovered to have embezzled funds from the firm, which is now close to declaring bankruptcy. Lexie and Hoyt Cavendish have a huge public argument just before he falls from an office ledge. The Philadelphia police suspect Lexie killed Hoyt leading to Nora to investigate as she knows her pal is not a murderer as several people had a motive and opportunity to push him off the ledge. Although her mob related boyfriend Michael Abruzzo broke off with her, he remains steadfast in being there when she gets in trouble, as she does with her inquiry.

The latest Blackbirds Sister mystery is a delightful amateur sleuth tale in which the audience is hooked throughout from the first Libby incident to the last altercation. Nora is incredible as she proves chaos theory as the hub of the Blackbird family is pure extended bedlam. Interestingly with Libby recovering, Emma considering an abortion, and Nora watching five kids and investigating a homicide; each most fears the return of their parents to the City of Brotherly Love. Amusing, farcical, and satirical, Nancy Martin provides a wonderful chocolate lover’s tour of Philadelphia.

Harriet Klausner

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