St. Martin’s, Jul 2008, $23.95
Sarah Booth Delaney finds it difficult to leave her friends and home in Zinnia, Mississippi, but she follows her dream. She has a chance to co-star in the remake of Body Heat with her former and future lover Graf Mileau. Graf is determined to win Sarah’s heart and give her the opportunity to figure out if she can love hims and make a commitment to him; he wants to marry her and have children with her.
She wins the role. However before she goes on location at director Federico Marquez’s home in Petaluma, Costa Rica, the corpse of actress Suzy Dutton, who expected to gain the part Sarah got, is found. In Costa Rica Sarah feels someone is watching her and she hears noises and voices in the wells. The locals blame it on Federico’s daughter Estelle who does not want her or any of these females in her late mother’s house. Sarah sees a ghost in red and Federico’s lover Jovan vanishes. Her Zinnia sisterhood mafia (Cece, Millie and Tinkie) arrive to help Sarah by sleuthing; none realize their investigation increases the danger to them exponentially.
The exciting latest Sarah Booth Delaney amateur sleuth is a bit different from her previous appearances as the heroine is taken out of her Southern magnolia milieu and placed in another country doing what she always wanted to do, star in a film. There is something happening every moment leaving readers to anticipate what next. Fans will admire the loyalty of the Mississippi posse (even if passports seem too expeditiously obtained in this Patriot Act era). With a dash of romance on top of a strong mystery, fans will enjoy Carolyn Haines’ terrific novel as Sarah has life choices to make that will dictate the future path of the series.