A Death On Sunday
Willow Tree Press/E.M.A. Mysteries, Jul 29 2014, $16.95
Maher Investigates sleuth Tessely Anne Marie Maher cherishes brunch with her extended family at her mommy’s home. However, this time a long-distance shot is fired towards the house; Tess’ best friend Chick Donnelly falls out of a tree dead. Near his body are drawings he made of his beloved Tess.
Although Chick’s death may have been a freakish hunting accident; Tess, her brother County Sheriff Connell Maher and their father the former sheriff believe a professional hit occurred though none of them can fathom why. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation sends Agents Lyle and Boyd to take charge of the homicide inquiry based on Chick’s alleged drug dealings. They warn the Maher family to stay out of their case or face charges of interference in an official state investigation. Firmly believing that grieving Tess murdered her lover over drug money, the TBI cops look nowhere else for the killer. Knowing she will be railroaded, Tess, with help from her family and friends, stealthily conducts her own inquiry seeking a motive including Chick’s business, Donnelly Repair and Restoration.
Putting aside that a family of cops and a private eye fail to obtain a lawyer with TBI focused solely on Tess, A Death On Sunday is a terrific whodunit as the homicide is personal. Mourning her loss, Tess’ chats with the late Chick feel genuine and add depth to an engaging investigation in which the heroine works around the Knoxville stereotyped obnoxious outsiders.