Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Shoots to Kill-Kate Collins

Shoots to Kill
Kate Collins
Obsidian, Aug 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451224743

Very few people are as happy as Abby Knight is. She gets on great with her family; her developing relationship with private investigator Marco Salvatore is strong and intense; and she loves working in her florist shop Bloomers.

Elizabeth “Libby” Blume returns to town to Abby’s horror as she knows how treacherous the woman is since she babysat her as a child and tried to steal her identity. Libby asks for a job at Abby’s store, but Abby says no. Instead Libby opens up an art store up the block from Bloomers that is almost identical in looks; she also manages to make herself look like Abby’s twin. She interferes with Abby’s relationship with Marco; causing a breakup. When Libby’s mom turns up dead, everyone assumes the daughter killed her mostly due to Abby’s behavior towards Libby, but evidence is lacking. Abby investigates seeking the proof although two other suspects with strong motives surface including the victim’s mentally disturbed son meds he does not always take..

Kate Collins keeps getting better with each new book she writes, which is saying a lot as her backlist is top rate (see A ROSE FROM THE DEAD). The amateur sleuth investigation is fun to follow as the key characters are fully developed especially the “twins” and Marco; yet there is plenty of action filled with plausible twists. Often amusing, the fun in the tale is Abby’s deep desire to prove Libby committed the homicide, but every clue leads away from the manipulative minx to other people. The Abby-Marco romantic subplot with its Libby-induced troubles adds to the heroine’s need to find the proof as SHOOTS TO KILL is an entreating whodunit.

Harriet Klausner