Monday, September 29, 2008

Eden Palms Murder-Dorothy Francis

Eden Palms Murder
Dorothy Francis
Five Stars, Oct 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 1594147027

Her late mom’s friend Francine Shipton invites Des Moines based blues singer Bailey Green to spend time living in her guest cottage on her Eden Palms estate. However, Bailey is shocked when her hostess fails to pick her up at the Key West Airport as arranged. She soon finds out why when she arrives at Eden Palms to see police Detectives Cassidy and Burgundy investigating the death of Francis.

Francine’s son Zack tells Bailey to use the guest cottage. He also asks her to help him look into his mother’s death as he explains she made enemies when she decided to convert the estate into a homeless shelter. The cops look into the alibis of neighbors, realtor Courtney Lusk, Dr. Winton Gravely who found the body and funeral director Tucker Tisdale as well as yardman Mitch Mitchell who is Bailey’s brother under the witness protection program. While working with Zack on the homicide, she learns of a second murder that leads to her life being threatened.

This is an enjoyable amateur sleuth tale in which the heroine is attracted to Zack, but does not trust him as she fears he may be the killer. The story line is fast-paced although Mitch’s woes distract from the plot. Still readers will relish Dorothy Francis’ latest Key West whodunit (see CONCH SHELL MURDER and COLD-CASE KILLER).

Harriet Klausner