Bantam, Nov 2002, 23.95, 304 pp.
Though Harton, New Jersey Chief of Police Tom Holder is married, he has a crush on Episcopalian minister Kathryn Koerney and wishes he had a case that he could involve her in so they could spend some innocent time together. He gets his wish when George Kimbrough reports his wife Grace missing. Ten-year-old Tita Robinson saw the Kimbrough's neighbor Bill Stanley put a woman body into his car. Since Tom has no children of his own, he asks Kathryn to help him question her.
Tita comes across as a very credible witness and on the strength of her testimony, Tom is able to obtain a search warrant to look inside Stanley's home. The police find enough evidence to arrest Bill but there are still some questions that need answering. Carolyn Stanley has gone missing in San Francisco and it is Kathryn who tracks her down. Kathryn brings Carolyn back to Harton where she and Tom begin to put together all the pieces of the puzzle.
This debut crime thriller of Christina Sumners has plenty of action but very little actual violence in the story line. Tom and Kathryn make a very good team, each of them having qualities that allow them to finally solve one of the most convoluted cases to happen in New Jersey in a long time. CROOKED HEART will appeal to fans of police procedurals and cosies.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner