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The Unraveling of Violeta Bell    by C. R. Corwin Amazon.com order for
Unraveling of Violeta Bell
by C. R. Corwin
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Unraveling of Violeta Bell is the third in C. R. Corwin's Morgue Mama series. If possible, this one is better than the first two - and they were good.

Morgue Mama is Maddy Sprowls of Ohio's Hannawa Herald-Union. As her nickname suggests, she is the keeper of the newspaper's archives, clipping items from papers to provide background in cases where a reporter needs that information. However, she does not confine her working hours to simply clipping. She solves the occasional murder before the police can get their act together.

I like Maddy. She is irascible and opinionated. She's old enough to retire but has no inclination to give up her daily work, and at sixty-eight is in love with seventy-one year-old Ike. Her prickly exterior hides a softer heart. She and Ike worry about each other's health and have a kind of partial cohabitation agreement partial being the key word here.

An elderly woman is found dead in her apartment complex's fitness room. She and three other women delighted in hitting all the yard sales every Saturday, being regularly driven by a local cab driver. And the dead woman had often declared that she was 'the Queen of Romania.' Intriguing.

Maddy works the case and, as expected, solves it. The plot works well, with a lot of humor and engaging personalities thrown in. The old ladies and their shenanigans explode the myth that us older folk just give up and rock away our later years. The Unraveling of Violeta Bell is a really fun book. I look forward to the next in the series. There is a next one, isn't there, Mr. Corwin?

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