Zumaya, 2003, 19.00, 288
Harley Spring is a supervisor at Sil Trac, a Washington state based Manufacturing Corporation that makes computer chips. They are due to have a certification inspection in four days and the numbers are not matching up right. One of her team leaders Mike took the papers home and is working on the problem. When he is due in to work, his brother calls telling the company Mike is sick. Harley knows there is a problem because Mike has no brother.
His girlfriend Rebecca, who works at the same company, calls Harley to tell her Mike is dead. When she arrives at Mike's home, the two women sneak out the company papers and a picture of the Black Madonna. Two more people who work at the company are killed and Harley and the police don't have a clue what is going on until her genius son and his equally intelligent friend figure out what is happening at the factory. Now all the authorities and Harley have to do is identify the ringleaders are and catch them in the act.
CHIP AND DIE is an upbeat amateur sleuth mystery that readers will find amusing, and refreshingly original. The heroine is a delight, beset by problems but still manages to get the job done. Arlene Sachitano is a terrific writer who excels at characterizations and plotting. Harley is an intelligent, in-your-face character who does what she wants which is helping the people she comes to care about deal with their problems. It is hoped that there will be more novels starring this complex and enchanting character.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner