Publisher: Minotaur Books (May, 2021)
Kindle edition: $13.99
A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery (Book 23 of 23)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Sarah Booth Delaney and her friend and partner in their PI agency, Tinkie Richmond, were expecting to be entertained and energized at the speech by visiting professor Dr. Alala Diakos, a firebrand feminist who’d been stirring up controversy around the Mississippi Delta with her revolutionary ideas. They didn’t expect to end up in the middle of a riot, but that’s what happened. Diakos had a personal hatred for men who abused women, and when known wife abuser Curtis Miller started heckling her, she let him know how she felt, loudly and aggressively. Threats were exchanged and blows were thrown and the spectators, mostly female, joined in to beat up Curtis.
Sarah Booth called her beau, Sheriff Coleman Peters, and he and his deputies arrived in the nick of time to break up the fracas. Curtis was hauled off to jail, along with his battered bride, who’d vigorously defended him against the crowd. When a sniper rifle was found in the bushes nearby, aimed at the speaker’s platform, it became clear someone had more planned for the doctor than heckling. Sheriff Peters offered to send protection, she rebuffed him, saying she had no need of men in any capacity.
When Miller’s body was found the next day, Dr. Diakos was the main suspect. She proclaimed her innocence, and asked Sarah Booth and Tinkie to investigate and prove she was not a murderer. They believed in her innocence and took the case, starting the search for the real killer. Their confidence was shaken when the sheriff told them that their client was a suspect in two other murders, The victims both had a history of abusing women, they were killed in the same way, and they had both clashed with the doctor in the past.
Nevertheless, the two PI’s continued to investigate. They uncovered some very nasty secrets that threatened to shake the very foundation of their town, playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with some shadowy and dangerous villains, aided by their friends and a posse of rambunctious canines, one surly cat, and a friendly ghost. All’s well that ends well, and this story had a very happy ending indeed.
This is the 23rd book in the wildly popular Sarah Booth Delaney series, and it is one of the best so far. The characters are engaging and endearing, and the Mississippi Delta with its beauty and mystery enriches the story. Highly recommended.
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