Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stay At Home Dead-Jeffrey Allen

Stay At Home Dead

Jeffrey Allen

Kensington, Jan 3 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780758266897

Rose Petal, Texas is a small town in which everyone remains up to date on the latest happenings especially scandals, misdemeanors and felonies. The townsfolk struggle with accepting that Deuce Winters is a househusband while his wife Julianne is a high powered attorney. Whereas she brings in the income, he is the primary caretaker of their three years old daughter Carly.

Nobody is more shocked than this father and daughter when they find the corpse of Benny Barnes inside their van parked in a supermarket lot. Overwhelmingly the locals assume Deuce killed the man responsible for destroying the “suspect’s” football career and stealing his girlfriend Shayna over twenty years ago in high school. The clique of parents at the daycare center demands the removal Deuce as a school helper, which is symptomatic of others’ belief that Deuce is a killer. Shayna asks him to come over, which he reluctantly does. She follows up by taking out a restraining order to keep him away from her. Life turns stranger when Victor the “little person” detective follows Deuce around town; conducting a surveillance for a client he refuses to name. Determined to clear his name, Deuce with Victor and Julianne’s assistance investigates the murder; only to find a business plan turn deadly.

Stay At Home Dead is a charming (except if you are the beleaguered protagonist) creative cozy starring a likable hero and his spouse. She protects his interests and that of a daughter like a lioness. The plot seems simple as it smoothly flows until a twist turns the story line into a wild rapids ride as readers ponder what is going on in Rose Petal. Deuce makes the tale work as a househusband and an amateur sleuth.

Harriet Klausner

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