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Hot on the Trail    by Jane Isenberg order for
Hot on the Trail
by Jane Isenberg
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In her previous books in the Bel Barrett series, Jane Isenberg has used menopause almost as a character - delightfully so. Take a look at the titles of these engaging cozies: Hot and Bothered, The 'M' Word, Death in a Hot Flash, Mood Swings to Murder, Midlife Can Be Murder, and Out of Hormone's Way. Now, Hot on the Trail continues in the same vein.

Amateur detective Bel Barrett is post-menopausal and no longer wears an estrogen patch. However, the resultant returned hot flashes and a touchy bladder concern both her and her friends. When Bel signs herself 'Soggy and Suicidal' on a chat room website, she receives advice from all around the globe. On to the mystery. The daughter of a continuing ed student of Bel's (she's a college professor) professes to believe that her doddering father did not fall off his roof, but was pushed and left to freeze to death in the snow!

The action moves quickly through vignettes of memories of days gone by. Bel and her fiancÚ are trying to plan their wedding. Sol sounds like a long-suffering swain and a nice guy. Right for her. Bel's mother Sadie is a trip in herself and she and her landlady/friend Sophie would be fun to know. The novel takes place in North Jersey, which can be a character in itself. The plot is a good one and reaches its conclusion with logic, as well as great one-liners.

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