Thursday, April 12, 2018

Murder At The Bus Depot by Judy Alter

When Kate Chambers inherited her grandparents' house and cafe in small town Wheeler, Texas, she left her job and came home to run the cafe.  Her grandparents raised her and her sister and it just felt like the right thing to do.  Now, a few years later, she is part of the town's power structure.  Everyone comes to the cafe and its a hub of the community.  Her sister runs the local B&B and her BIL is the mayor and owner of the hardware store.  She sees the local law enforcement daily and is in close contact with the new pastor and his wife.  Everything is just as they all like it.

But change is coming.  Little Wheeler has caught the eye of a big-time developer and his vision of what the town could be is very different from theirs.  He wants to build tons of houses to lure those who work in Dallas to live here instead.  He wants to tear down the old houses and businesses and bring in box stores and fast food restaurants.  In reality, he wants to turn Wheeler into Dallas Mini.

Kate and her friends are determined that that can't happen.  They hit on the idea of moving the old bus depot and making it a community center.  It has been abandoned for years ever since a young Wheeler wife was killed there one night.  That murder was never solved and the bus depot closed soon afterwards.  Now maybe there's a second life for the depot.

But old wounds never quite heal.  Soon there are rumors about the old case and old hard feelings show up again.  Soon there is even a new murder at the moved structure and Kate is right in the midst of everything.  She and her lawyer boyfriend solved other murder cases in the past and it looks like they need to step in and help with this one.  Can Kate and her crew find the answers the town needs?

This is the fourth novel in the Blue Plate Cafe series.  Alter has written about small town life in a believable fashion and the reader doesn't have to make wild leaps of faith to follow the action.  Each step seems logical to follow on that which has gone before and she captures the spirit of a small town where everyone knows everyone and what they are going through and how to help.  This book is recommended for cozy murder mystery readers.

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