Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Desert Hedge Murders by Patricia Stoltey (R)

Retirement is supposed to be relaxing, right?  It's not working out that way for Sylvia Thorn.  Retired from her job as a judge and at loose ends, she agrees to accompany her mother's group of friends on a Las Vegas trip.  The group, who call themselves the Florida Flippers, travel together several times a year.  Usually Sylvia's brother, Willie, travels with them, but can't this time, so Sylvia agrees to go with them and ride herd.

There's another newcomer to the group, a woman named Patsy.  No one seems to know much about her except for the Flipper who invited her, Sandra.  Things get off to a rough start when the group gets to the hotel, and a dead body is found in the bathtub in Sandra and Patsy's room.

Then Sandra disappears.  The group tries to stay on their routine and go to a deserted mine that has been turned into a touring site.  The manager there says Sandra has beat them there.  Relieved they enter the mine, only to find Sandra's body twisting over a crevice in the mine. 

Now there are two dead bodies, and mystery galore.  It turns out that Sandra's husband is under investigation for hedge fund fraud, operating without Sandra's knowledge in Nevada.  Worse, most of the Flippers have invested savings with him.

Sylvia steps in to solve the mystery with the help of Patsy and of Willie, who has joined the group after he and Sylvia's father get alarmed when they can't contact the group by cell phone.  There are law enforcement officers to dodge, along with a certain FBI agent that seems very interested in Sylvia as well as the crime.  Will they solve the mystery before more tragedy occurs?

This debut novel stands up very well.  It is recommended for mystery readers, especially those who enjoy the "cosy" mystery genre.  It appears that this is the start of a series, and I'd be interested in reading more adventures featuring Sylvia and Willie. 

1 comment:

Patricia Stoltey said...

I appreciate the great review, Sandie, and love finding another book review site. I love to read, and am always looking for books to add to my TBR list.

The Desert Hedge Murders is actually the second Sylvia and Willie mystery. The first, The Prairie Grass Murders, was released in 2007. It's available as an audiobook, through online booksellers' alternate sources used or new, and will be released in the future through Harlequin Worldwide's mystery book club.

Thanks again,