Saturday, September 6, 2008

Baring Arms-Jo-Ann Powers

Baring Arms
Jo-Ann Powers
Dunne, Nov 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 0312365411

Preparing for her speech at the national convention, five term Congresswoman from the twenty-third district of Texas Representative Carly Wagner suddenly has a different problem than a rousing the troops oratory. She needs to be the MISSING MEMBER at the convention since her twelve year old daughter Jordan Underwood has found the corpse of their neighbor Judge Goodwin Deeds in his home.

The forty-two years divorcee wonders how the grounded Jordan escaped house “arrest” after being escorted home by “Jones” who caught her and other tweeners and teens in a police raid of a computer gaming party. As strange as the homicide next door is, Carly knows the judge has enemies across the state. However, she wonders why the Judge’s computer den was devastated as if a bomb hit it and who the removed an electronic chip imbedded in his hand. Carly believes the enigmatic Jones who smells FBI operative knows more than he is saying so she begins to investigate as her daughter is a prime murder suspect. Jordan confesses to her mom she is covering for her friend Sherry Bunting, daughter of Kentucky Senator Henry Bunting while also helping the judge's two children from his first marriage (Nicole and Nicholas) in their war with their stepmother Marie.

Although there is some insight to being a Congresswoman and to a lesser degree a dependent daughter, BARING ARMS is an engaging somewhat plot thin amateur sleuth tale with professional oversight rather than a political thriller. Too sexy DC Jones tries to keep the feisty Texan safe by keeping the obstinate rep out of the murder investigation and his inquiry into information pilfering; he fails on all three counts leaving it to Abe Lincoln to keep his human female pets safe.

Harriet Klausner