Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Grid For Murder-Casey Mayes

A Grid For Murder

Casey Mayes

Berkley Prime Crime, Oct 2 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425251645

Savannah Stone drives into nearby Asheville, North Carolina when she stops for tea at Café Noir. She would have headed straight home in Parson’s Valley if she knew obnoxious Joanne Clayton was there. Joanne shows Savannah a puzzle she created that was bought by the Asheville Alternative newspaper. Savannah, who is a nationally syndicated puzzle creator, congratulates her. Two other residents of Parson’s Valley Laura Moon and Sandra Oliver join them.

When she gets home, her husband retired Charlotte police chief Zach tells her that someone poisoned Joanne. Savannah tells her spouse about having distasteful tea with Joanna. Zach takes her to the Asheville police where State Police Captain North temporarily runs the office. Savannah tells her story to North and Zach offers his services. Back home, Savannah, worrying about her reputation as a relative newcomer, and her widow friend hardware store owner Rob Hastings draw up a list of suspects as they investigate the murder.

The third Mystery by the Numbers (see A Killer Column and A Deadly Row) is an engaging amateur sleuth as Savannah and Rob work their inquiry. His reason for investigating seems possible though unlikely; while hers seems improbable. Still the whodunit is clever as Savannah works her suspect list by the numbers.

Harriet Klaussner

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