Thursday, February 5, 2009

Leftover Dead-Jimmie Ruth Evans

Leftover Dead
Jimmie Ruth Evans
Berkley, Jan 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425225608

Wanda Nell and Jack got married and are living happily ever after in her trailer along with her daughter Juliet. Wanda Nell feels she is in hog heaven, not so much because of her nuptials, but to be working only one job for the first time in recent memory as a waitress at the Kountry Kitchen; Jack works at the high school and plans to start writing a novelization of a true crime story.

Jack learns about a three decade old cold case in which a naked girl was found dead on the Tullahoma County High School football field. His interest in the case stems from the way the townsfolk reacted to the homicide. Everyone wanted the Jane Doe mystery buried and forgotten. Jack consults with Wanda Nell and they conclude someone influential ended any inquiries. They investigate the murder and cover-up in spite of the danger they may face especially if that person is still alive, powerful, and observant.

The latest Trailer Park amateur sleuth (see BRING YOUR OWN POISON) is an engaging investigative tale as the newlyweds spend their honeymoon sleuthing a cold case that their inquiry turns hot (on them and the few who cooperate). Once gain life in a small Mississippi town especially in a trailer park is made interesting by the eccentric support cast. Wanda Nell remains as responsible as ever, but with Jack legally at her side. Fans will appreciate this character driven regional cold case whodunit.

Harriet Klausner