Friday, November 11, 2011

A Spirited Gift-Joyce and Jim Lavene

A Spirited Gift

Joyce and Jim Lavene

Berkley, Dec 6 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425245026

Duck, North Carolina Mayor Dae O’Donnell hosts the Mayors' Conference Weekend at the Blue Whale Inn, owned by her boyfriend Kevin Brickman. When feeder bands from Hurricane Kelly slam into the Outer Banks Island, everyone gathers in the ballroom. After the weather subsides, Dae does a head count and notices Manteo Mayor Sandi Foxx missing.

A search fails to find Sandi, but Dae, heading to the bathroom, locates the missing mayor’s diamond ruby ring, which she picks up and sees a nasty vision of a man with a gun. She has Sandi’s younger assistant Matthew Wright restrained until Sheriff Michaels arrives to lead the inquiry. Dae soon locates Sandi’s corpse. She, former FBI agent Kevin and Michaels realize someone who attended the conference murdered the mayor, but who had the motive remains unclear.

The latest Dae in a life of a Duck Missing Pieces tale (see A Touch of Gold and A Timely Vision) is an engaging mystery in which the homicide comes a bit later in the story line than usual as the early focus is on the gala with the storm causing the suspense. Dae makes the paranormal thriller work with her psychometric ability to find clues. Mindful of the TV show Bedlam though the Team Lavene series was started earlier, fans know this writing duet can always be banked on for a strong thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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