Obsidian, Jul 2008, $6.99
After her beloved husband died following a long suffering illness, Sky Taylor moved to Pigeon Cove, the next town past Gloucester. She stays with her friend Chloe rent free in return for doing the house cleaning, which is no hardship as Sky owns a cleaning service as well as writing a newspaper column.
Sky and Chloe are waiting for people to leave at the Art Association Festival when realtor Kyle Fipps is found asleep in his hammock in the middle of the Getaway Groves Condominium model house display. They try to wake him up, but immediately realize he is dead. Police Chief Vega tells Sky that the toxicology report indicates murder as the victim ingested the poisonous seed of a pong pong, which is similar to digitalis. This homicide is not the only incident happening in the Cove. Councilman Tommy Thompson, who is involved in the Getaway Groves Condominium project, is embroiled in a scandal as he was seen with Sandy the stripper at a strip joint. As Sky and her lover reporter Mike Evans seek a link between the condo project, Kylie’s homicide, and the disappearance of her best friend Jessie Barton, someone tries to kill her.
This charming lighthearted cozy contains many suspects with plausible motives to wanting the Kyle dead. Sky is a delightful protagonist who can turn obstinate once she makes up her mind as to a course of action, which in DIRTY DEEDS can prove lethal to her. This regional mystery provides readers with a taste of a coastal small New England town, who provide much of the support cast (along with some Gloucester residents). Suzanne price uses Sandy to add humor to the intense whodunit that sub-genre fans will appreciate.