Kensington, Nov 2004, 22.00, 256 pp.
Literary agent Jane Stuart works and lives in Shady Hills, New Jersey and is glad to be away from the crime and troubles of New York City. She has a wonderful nanny Florence for her eleven year old son Nicholas; because of her friendship with Florence she allows her nanny's sister Crystal Ryerson to stay at her home for two weeks. When they move Crystal into her new home, Jane is thrilled to get rid of the obnoxious, meddling know it all busy body.
In the short time she has been in town, Crystal complained to Children Services stating that Myrtle Lovesy's daughter, a former drug addict, is not fit to raise her child. She also gets a teacher fired for stealing computers that he categorically denies. Crystal, an assistant director at the public library, arranges a reading group. At the very first meeting the teacher and Mrs. Lovesy are there. When Crystal climbs a ladder to get a book from the top shelf of the bookstore, it falls on her, killing her instantly. Florence ask Jane, who has solved five homicides, to find her sister's killer; she agrees to help her friend not knowing that she is putting her life on the line.
CRUSHING CRYSTAL is a fantastic cozy and a delightful amateur sleuth tale all rolled up into one terrific package. The protagonist is intelligent and loyal willing to go the extra mile to help her friend. Evan Marshall has written his best mystery to date because there is a subplot involving a missing beautiful high school girl that seamlessly returns to the main story line.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner