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by Jane Kelly

Plexus, October 1997
ISBN: 0-937-54838-3

Reviewed by Karen Meek

Meg Daniels, recently separated from her long time boyfriend, decides to go ahead alone with the vacation they were due to have in Ocean City, New Jersey. Installed in her ramshackle cottage, Meg, already upset, is further dismayed to find that her detested boss, DK Bascombe, is her next door neighbour. When Bascombe is found murdered, Meg becomes the prime suspect. Meg knows that forensic evidence will clear her name but she has more trouble convincing her friends and colleagues that she was not having an affair with the loathed Bascombe.

Meg gets roped into the investigation of Bascombe's death by PI Andy Beck, who like the police, finds it hard to believe it's just coincidence that Meg was vacationing next door to her boss. Nonetheless he suggests they work together to find the truth. Meg cycles between lust and distrust of the gorgeous PI, whose actions are not always legal or even explicable. Meg's life is further complicated by a steady stream of her colleagues, including her ex, turning up on her doorstep and quizzing her about Bascombe and what she heard on the night of the murder. Only when the issue of missing millions of dollars is raised, does Meg begin to understand everyone's interest in her. Meg's holiday gets even less relaxing until the killer is finally unmasked.

KILLING TIME IN OCEAN CITY introduces the ready wit of Meg Daniels. Her narrative is full of amusing comments and observations. I don't usually laugh out loud when reading, but this book made me chuckle several times. My only negative remark would be that I felt the book was slightly longer than the plot necessitated. Meg has to go through a couple of experiences that don't really advance the plot a great deal. This is only a slight quibble as the character of Meg is easy to like and read about. Ocean City is well depicted and if accurate, appears to be an excellent family holiday destination, fictional murders aside. Luckily for me, I have the next book, CAPE MAYHEM, already lined up.

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