Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fifty-Seven Heaven -- Lonnie Cruse

Like Ed Gorman, I don't mind admitting that I read cozies from time to time. What the heck, I can't resist a book that starts off with a woman in a felt poodle skirt and a body in the trunk of a '57 Chevy. Before you get the wrong idea about the book, I'd better say that the setting is the present. The '57 Chevy has been lovingly restored by Jack Bloodworth, and he and his wife, Kitty, are at an antique car show. When Jack opens the truck to show it off, they find the body of Kitty's acid-tongued cousin, Will Ann, stuffed inside. She's been strangled with a pair of jumper cables.

There are plenty of suspects, since nobody seems to have cared much for Will Ann. Kitty's problem is that all the suspects are her family members either by blood or marriage, and while all of them have rock-solid alibis, she suspects that one of them must be the killer. And then somebody tries to kill
her, coming all too close to succeeding.

Kitty's a fine amateur detective, and she'd probably have solved the case sooner if amnesia resulting from the attempt on her life hadn't slowed her down. But she gets to the end of things eventually, and as the book closes, she and Jack have signed up for a Citizens Police Academy. You can bet there's more murder in their future.

Kitty and Jack are an attractive pair, and Lonnie Cruse gets all the details of small-town life and marriage right. Laughs, tears, old cars, and murder. What more could you want?

As an aside, I see in the the book's biographical sketch that Lonnie and her husband own a '57 Chevy. My envy knows no bounds.


Lonnie Cruse said...

Thank you, Bill! I love reading your books so having you read/review one of mine is a dream come true! Much appreciated. And I'm looking forward to a new one from you.

Diane said...

I just started Fifty-Seven Heaven myself, and I'm enjoying it very much!