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A CROOKED LITTLE HOUSE
By Susan Rogers Cooper

Avon, 1999
ISBN 0-380-79469-1

Reviewed by S. E. Warwick

This is the fifth in the E. J. Pugh series whose titles seem to be derived from nursery rhymes. Pugh, a Texas housewife and romance writer should have more than enough excitement in her own life with an assortment of children gleaned from previous adventures, a cranky mother-in-law, assorted pets and a sweet a reformed hippie husband, but can't resist when a juicy question mark pops up in her life.

In A Crooked Little House, Pugh's former sister-in-law becomes homeless and is accused of murder while Pugh's house is undergoing a major renovation. As the mystery unravels, Pugh visits the homeless, the wealthy, and a weird biker who turns out to be an old friend of her husband's who was called "Scooter" in a previous incarnation.

The ending came out of nowhere and I was disappointed that none of the incompetent building contractors were murdered. (If you've ever built a house, you'd understand the need for this sort of catharsis.)

If you like the faux frazzled housewife set in kooky Texas idea, this is a great example. There are far worse ways to spend an afternoon at the beach.


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