Sunday, September 30, 2012

Murder She Wrote: Domestic Malice-Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

Murder She Wrote: Domestic Malice

Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

NAL, Oct 2 2012, $23.95

ISBN: 9780451238030

In Cabot Cove, Maine, mystery writer Jessica Fletcher volunteers at the Cabot Cove Women’s Shelter. She and the shelter’s head Edwinna Wilkerson are chatting at the facility when battered Myriam Wolcott arrives. The mother of two (sixteen years old Mark and twelve years old Ruth) rejects medical attention, rejects filing a police report and refuses to remain at the facility. She goes home though she fears her spouse Josh, a financial planner, will harm her again.

The next morning Edwinna shocks Jessica with the news that someone murdered Josh just outside his home. Myriam’s brother and sister-in-law arrive followed by her martinet mother Mrs. Caldwell who threatens legal action if either Edwinna or Jessica mentions her daughter’s visit to the shelter. Mrs. Caldwell warns the sheriff as well while demanding her late son-in-law provide her with the will. When Myriam confesses, Jessica begins an investigation though she vowed not to.

The latest Murder She Wrote mystery (see Trouble at High Tide) is a terrific whodunit that highlights family abuse and to a lesser degree environmental concerns. The whodunit is clever with a stunning twist on top of an “obvious” spin as Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain provide a super mystery that leaves the heroine questioning whether the truth is always the right thing.

Harriet Klausner

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