Berkley, Apr 2008, $6.99
The divorce hit A.J. Alexander hard knowing her husband left her for another man, which also explains why their sex life was almost non-existent. Andy wants to remain pals, but A.J. is in too much hurt to see that happening anytime soon. Tragedy strikes A.J. when her beloved affluent Aunt Dianta Mason, owner of Sacred Balance, dies; A.J. goes to Stillbrook where her aunt lived to arrange the funeral.
From the moment she arrives in town, lead detective Jake Oberlin keeps A.J. under a microscope as the prime suspect in her aunt’s murder. He constantly interrogates her as she is the only one with a motive, the inheritance. When she goes to her aunt’s lawyer she learns why Jake hones in on her as she is the sole beneficiary of an eighteen million dollar estate to include the yoga studio. Lily, an employee’s friend and student of her late Aunt is livid because the studio was promised to her and makes that clear to A.J. and her dingbat mother. Apparently Aunt Di had as many friends as enemies, but A.J. plans to find out who loathed her enough to kill her so that Jake will back off.
The support cast is one of the major reasons that this series is going to be a hit. For instance mom acts like a moron but has good instincts even as she drives her daughter crazy especially with her desire to have A.J. and Andy get back together. Jake is romantically interested in his prime suspect, but she drives him loony when she investigates; endangering the lives of her and her mother. Andy wants to remain friends with A.J. because he loves her, but not in a sexual way. On top of each person driving everyone else batty, the mystery is well constructed with all the clues in sight, but most readers will misread them as Diana Killian provides a delightfully entertaining amateur sleuth tale.