Danger by Design
Helen Macie Osterman
Dark Oak Mysteries, Jul 15 2014, $15.95
The Watkins brothers are concerned with the health of their elderly mom. She calls her son George while he is on business in New York to tell him she changed her will back to bequeath all to her family and that she fears someone is watching her. Used to her recent erratic behavior, he waits until he gets home, but before he does she dies from a heart attack.
Filled with guilt, George visits the new owner of his mom’s gated retirement community home, widow Antoinette Petrone who is recovering from knee surgery. He mentions the missing will; if not found soon the Society for Fifth Beneficence inherits one million dollars rather than the family who need the funds to help care for George’s disabled nephew. Net and her BFF Ruth Borden search the house for the lost will, but fail to find it. They take a genealogy class taught by Professor Marcus and soon after receive an invitation to attend a Society for Fifth Beneficence lecture provided by Brother Rupert, which Net goes to alone. Feeling compelled to find the missing will; Net fears a sinister scheme targeting the elderly who name the Society for Fifth Beneficence as benefactor of their estates; while someone breaks into her home she assumes searching for the will.
Danger by Design is an entertaining leisurely-paced cozy starring a likable, obstinate hobbling heroine and a strong support cast that run the gamut from the good (family and friends), the maybe bad (Marcus) and the ugly (Rupert). Although Net’s loving crew and George are too kind; readers will enjoy the caring geriatric amateur sleuth reluctantly investigating a deadly scam (mindful of Leverage’s The Grave Danger Job).