Elizabeth Lynn Casey
Berkley, Aug 2009, $6.99
After seeing her fiancé with another woman at their engagement party, Tori Sinclair moved to isolated Sweet Briar, South Carolina. As the newcomer in town, the transplanted Yankee librarian knows the eyes of the world are upon her not just due to her roots; the former librarian was forced to retire so Tori stands in judgment with the Sword of Damocles hovering over her. Making matters worse, her predecessor Dixie Dunn spreads lies about Tori.
At a sewing social, Diane gives Tori dirty looks and makes sarcastic comments about the new resident. Tori has a dream for a special place for children to get them to read and she gets the board’s approval in spite of Dixie’s caustic opposition. Tori finds the body of the town’s sweetheart Tiffany Ann at her back door. Inspector Daniel McGuire leads the inquiry with Tori as his prime suspect because rumors state she is after third grade teacher Mike who the victim loved. Most of the townsfolk assume Tori is the killer as they believe all the innuendos and rumors. Tori believes she must identify the culprit before she is either arrested or run out of town.
There is more than one murder for Tori to cope with; but what drives her batty is the bulb on her porch keeps disappearing; her appointment book and a slide projector vanish. The people want to know who the killer is before they allow Tori any welcome. Thus the local support cast brings realism to the plot as they seem like us. The first Southern Sewing Circle amateur sleuth is an enjoyable regional whodunit starring a reluctant heroine and the locals ready to lock her away.