MURDER IN A BASKET
College librarian, and struggling arts, India Hayes isn't sure how her older sister Carmen talked her into managing a face-painting booth at the Stripling Ohio Founders' Day Festival or how Carmen persuaded her to wear a pink gingham pioneer dress, including mob-cap and granny boots. But that's where -- and how -- she finds herself on a chilly October day just before Halloween.
India's annoyance is forgotten when she discovers the body of basket weaver Tess Ross on the festival grounds. Tess leaves behind an angry blacksmith husband, a confused adopted son, greedy siblings, a dysfunctional artists' co-op, and a chocolate-colored labradoodle with a two-million-dollar trust in his name. Much to India's dismay, she learns Tess is the sister of her stuffy college provost, Samuel Lepcheck, and the mother of a library student worker, Derek, who has an irrepressible crush on India that she's doing her best to ignore. Derek begs India to investigate his mother's murder.
Despite the urgings of handsome Police Detective Rick Mains to stay out of the investigation, India agrees to Derek's request and finds herself playing sleuth as well as foster-owner to Zacchaeus, the two-million-dollar labradoodle.
With her own eccentric family commenting from the sidelines and her Irish-centric landlady, Ina Carroll, as a volunteer sidekick, India must discover the truth before she has a permanent canine houseguest or ends up the next victim of Tess's murderer.
Published in 2012
Quirky cozy mystery that ticks all the boxes. Librarian and amateur sleuth heroine, a cryptic police detective who sends mixed messages, a millionaire labradoodle with a penchant for mischief and a murder to solve. What more could an avid reader ask for? Well, the eccentric septuagenarian landlady sidekick who resembles "a leprechaun training for the British Royal Guard" (p 110) is an added bonus. As is the irony of a cat named Templeton. I grinned my way through the twists and turns of an engaging plot. Plenty of suspects to choose from -- and believe me I thought nearly everyone was guilty at some point. A fun, breezy escape read.
Please note that this book isn't a Christian Fiction selection -- though it is a clean read.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Murder in a Basket please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 19 2017. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!