Deader Homes and Gardens: A Claire Malloy Mystery
St. Martin's, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
've known of Joan Hess for years as a cozy mystery author that readers rave about. After reading
Deader Homes and Gardens
, the eighteenth episode in her Claire Malloy series, I understand and share their enthusiasm.
t this stage in the series, Claire has married the long suffering Deputy Chief Peter Rosen. She, Peter, and her '
egomaniacal seventeen-year-old daughter Caron
' are stumbling over each other's belongings in Claire's two bedroom apartment (she and Peter having just returned from an adventurous Egyptian honeymoon). So, of course, Claire starts house hunting.
he soon finds her dream house in Hollow Valley but of course there are complications - from a disappearing real estate agent to a pending lawsuit and a succession of corpses. And naturally (for a Hess novel) wildly eccentric characters (mainly the Hollows extended family) enliven the plot. They include a woman who calls herself Pandora Butterfly!
ith Peter away on business, Claire is free to stir the pot, getting into all kinds of trouble in her quest to acquire her dream home. Caron and her BFF Inez get in on the action as well, even coming to Claire's rescue at one point - will she ever live that down? Though I enjoyed the mystery, I'll read another mainly for Claire's character - I love her strong will and no nonsense approach to life and teen demands!
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