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The Unraveling of Violeta Bell : A Morgue Mama Mystery
Newspaper librarian Maddy Sprowls never gives story ideas to the editors at The Hannawa Herald-Union. She prefers to stay in the morgue and do her job, and hopes the editors stay in the newsroom and do theirs. Then one Saturday she sees four elderly women get out of a taxicab at a garage sale. Those women must hire that cabby every week, she figures, to drive them from garage sale to garage sale while they search for treasure. And wouldnt that make a great feature story for the paper? Monday morning she runs straight to the newsroom with her idea. Shortly after the story runs, one of the four women is murdered?retired antique dealer Violeta Bell. Maddy wants no part of the investigation. But before she knows it shes on another of her infamous snoopathons. And, good gravy, enjoying every minute of it.Was Violeta Bell murdered by one of the other garage sale ladies? Former striptease artist Kay Hausenfelter perhaps? Or real estate agent Gloria McPhee? Or eccentric philanthropist Ariel Wilburger-Gowdy? Or was it Eddie French, the scruffy cabby with a police record as long as his arm? And what about Violetas claim that she was the rightful queen of Romania? Any truth to that? Readers who loved C.R. Corwins first two Morgue Mama mysteries--The Cross Kisses Back and Digwill be happy to see that Maddy is as crafty and cantankerous as ever. If not more so!
In Corwin's charming third Morgue Mama mystery (after 2005's Dig), Maddy Sprowls, an Ohio newspaper librarian in her late 60s, pitches an idea for a human interest story about a quartet of garage sale queens, one of whom claims to be a real royal. Young reporter Gabriella Nash, to whom Maddy plays reluctant mentor, gets the assignment. When Violeta Bell, self-proclaimed Romanian monarch, turns up dead after her 15 minutes of fame in the Hannewa Herald-Union, Maddy turns detective, dragging along Gabriella. Maddy's newly acquired googling skills lead her to Canada to meet another claimant to the Romanian throne, yielding only further conundrums. Meanwhile, Maddy grapples with her still fresh "autumn" love affair with Ike Breeze, her opposite in many ways, as well as a bothersome (to Ike) sleep disorder that may need medical attention. Irascible, fearless and unapologetic, Maddy is a heroine cozy fans will embrace. (Apr.)
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Poisoned Pen Press
April 14, 2008
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