Maid of Murder
Five Star, Jun 15 2010, $25.95
In Stripling, Ohio, Martin College librarian India Hayes also works as a struggling artist. When her longtime friend Olivia Blocken asks her to be a bridesmaid, India agrees though she fears how her brother Mark will react as he still loves Olivia. Mark suffered a nervous breakdown when Olivia left Stripling to go to college so her trepidation is jusrified.
As Mark hides himself in math and in teaching at the college, India conceals from him that she is a bridesmaid at Olivia’s nuptials. When someone shoves Olivia to her death, the police suspect Mark as the prime culprit with the motive being unrequited love based on the fact he broke down once before when Olivia left him so if he can’t have her no one can have her. India investigates believing Mark would never kill anyone let alone the woman he loves.
This is a lighthearted fun amateur sleuth cozy due to the eccentric support cast (human and feline). India feels a deep need to prove her sibling may have suffered from unrequited love, but was not a jealous killer as sulking and weeping is more his style. Since she does not trust the cops to look elsewhere though she admits this might be a throwback to her 1960s hippy activist parents, she makes inquiries. Readers will enjoy Maid of Murder as the amateur sleuth uses her librarian research skills to land in trouble as she investigates who killed Olivia.