Friday, December 28, 2007

What Are You Wearing to Die-Patricia Sprinkle

What Are You Wearing to Die
Patricia Sprinkle
Obsidian ,Feb 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451223258

Hopemore, Georgia has its share of vicious crimes; usually Magistrate MacLaren Yarbrough is in the middle of the investigation to the horror and fear of her spouse Joe Riddle. This time when someone dies, Joe handcuffs her leg to her desk in Yarbrough Feed Sed and Nursery. A car went over the bypass bridge with Star Knight inside. At first the police think it is an accident until when they bring the vehicle up; the victim was beaten to death with broken bones and black and blue marks everywhere.

Star had her life together when she was pregnant but she became addicted again to crystal meth. The Sheriff knows there is a lab in the area, but can’t locate it. Star’s father Trevor demands custody of his grandson and they later learn Star was going tothe DEA to inform them who was running the lab with plans of going straight. MacLaren and others believes the meth lab operatives killed Star to prevent her from ratting them out. When another death linked to Star occurs, MacLaren tries to find the killer who ran the meth house, but the murderer remains free with plans to murder the nosy magistrate who ruined his business.

This is a poignant character driven police procedural that makes the case that amoral people can live in the open yet hidden anywhere even a pristine small town. Joe’s handcuffing his wife shows how much he cares and worries about her investigating activities, but unless he plans to do this 24/7, his scheme is doomed to fail as MacLaren’s soul is to uncover the truth. The inquiry is fun to follow, but it is the meth lab in a small town Georgia that makes this cozy feel real.

Harriet Klausner