Friday, November 7, 2014

Knot In My Backyard-Mary Marks

Knot In My Backyard
Mary Marks
Kensington, Nov 4 2014, $7.99
ISBN 9780758292070

In Encino, California, the affluent Joshua Beaumont School built a night baseball stadium that angers residents of the neighborhood due to noise, traffic, garbage and destroying the scenic view of the San Fernando Valley.  One of the upset locals, quilter Martha Rose takes a walk until she stumbles upon the battered corpse of the school’s baseball coach Dax Martin.  As she calls her boyfriend LAPD homicide detective Arlo Beavers, she muses two corpses in four months though this time she is without her quilting BFFs Lucy and Birdie (see Forget Me Knot).

Because of his relationship with Martha Rose, Dax’s Beaumont alumni partner Kaplan leads the official investigation.  His only suspect is another neighbor Ed Pappas who had a recent fistfight with the coach.  Believing Ed is being set up to take the fall because of his inquiry into the stadium deal; Martha ignores Arlo’s warning to stay out of the case.  Instead she makes dangerous inquiries that place herself and Arlo’s dog in harm’s way; but also meets Ed’s biker friend aptly called Crusher by everyone except Martha Rose who greets him as Yoshi.

The second Quilting Mystery is a fun whodunit that deftly stitches peril and humor into a cohesive tale.  Putting aside the improbability of the heroine’s lunacy to investigate even if Ed is a helpful neighbor, this is a pleasant amateur sleuth.

Harriet Klausner

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