Berkley, July 2002, 5.99, 272 pp.
Teacher Willi Gallagher is taking an early bird Amtrak train from Austin to her hometown of Nickleberry. She leaves early to avoid running into Texas Ranger Lassiter except he boards the same train. Things go downhill from there as Willi witnesses a vitriolic fight between Congressman Van Bauer and his ex-wife BeeBee. She also observes a heated exchange between the Congressman and the train porter Uzell Speer.
When the train is forced to stop because of a blizzard and ice on the tracks, the seven passengers are lodged in a nearby motel. On their very first night there, the Congressman is brutally murdered and all of the guests have a reason to want to see him dead. Willi and Lassiter continually butt heads over her role in his investigation.
DEATH MEDICINE is more serious in scope than the first novel in this series, ALL SIGNS POINT TO MURDER. Still the novel contains a humorous side as the bickering between the two protagonists masks an attraction that neither will acknowledge. The mystery is cleverly constructed and will have readers guessing who the actual murder is. Kat Goldring is a fresh new voice in the amateur sleuth sub-genre.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner