Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Murder in a Basket-Amanda Flower

Murder in a Basket

Amanda Flower

Five Star, Feb 8 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9781432825676

Martin College librarian India West regrets agreeing to running the Stripling Founders’ Festival face-painting booth as no one says no to her sister Carmen (or their parents) when it came to volunteering. At least she hopes to sell some of her paintings; that is until an irate vendor Lynette accuses her of using her connection to her sibling. On the other hand Tess the vendor praises India’s work.

Tess’ adopted son Derek has a crush on India who tells him he must stop giving her unwanted gifts or calling her his special friend as this leaves a false impression and besides his uncle is the college provost Sam Lepcheck. After the gala ends, India takes the wrong cart so she goes back to retrieve hers to keep her paintings from being ruined by the evening moisture. She finds the corpse of Tess who inherited Zach the dog whose owner Tess’ Uncle Victor left the canine with a million dollar trust fund. Detective Mains leads the police inquiry while India and Ina her elderly landlady investigate finding corpse number two and a suspect near the body.

The second India Hayes amateur sleuth (see Maid of Murder) is an engaging cozy starring a wonderful protagonist, several quirky supporting cast members (including Derek whose puppy love worship is a problem for the librarian) and a killer hiding in plain sight. Readers will enjoy this Buckeye State whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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