Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bad Samaritan-Aimee and David Thurlo

Bad Samaritan
Aimee and David Thurlo
Minotaur, Jun 22 2010, $24.95
ISBN 9780312367329

In Bernalillo, New Mexico Sister Agatha is sad with the closing of Our Lady of Hope Monastery and depressed with her pending relocation to Colorado. While she struggles with leaving the Land of Enchantment, her former high school boyfriend Sheriff Tom Green has been arrested for murder.

The police accuse Tom of murdering his political opponent running against him for the sheriff’s position, Robert Garcia at a Fourth of July celebration attended by many witnesses. The mayor’s brother Garcia was found dead next to an unconscious Tom who was holding a bloody club. The victim and the accused were drugged with a date-rape drug found in the relish both placed on their hot dogs. Garcia's influential family demand Tom be tried. In the convent’s Antichrysler, Agatha with Pax the retired police dog assisting her investigates the Garcia supporters that threaten her life and that of her K-9 companion. Agatha learns both sheriff contenders had spousal issues as Tom’s wife is leaving him and Robert’s hides his abuse and their son was sired by someone else.

This is an entertaining regional amateur sleuth though in fairness with Sister Agatha’s track record, (see The Prodigal Nun) amateur seems inappropriate. The story line is driven by the Sister who struggles with solving a case in which Tom is increasingly the most likely culprit, ignoring the nastiness of the political unhinged, and working through her own faith issues with the pending shutting of Our Lady of Hope doors. Fans of the series will appreciate her latest whodunit while new readers will seek the backlist of one of New Mexico’s finest sleuths.

Harriet Klausner

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