Donna Rose is a retired schoolteacher living in a coastal town in Washington state who prefers to spend the days tending to her garden and antagonizing her next-door neighbor. One day while clamming she comes across the body of Lyle Corrigan, a local businessman who has rubbed a good number of people the wrong way.
Donna Rose takes it upon herself to find the murderer, as she believes the local police force (save for one young detective) is inept. She and her neighbor investigate and find that Lyle was likely involved in some shady dealings with a real estate developer, and was definitely an abusive father and husband. When Lyle's daughter secretly moves back to town, Donna Rose suspects her until the daughter disappears. The stakes are raised further when an attempt is made on Donna's life.
This report prepared by Kathryn Lively
Five Star, Aug 2004, 25.95
In Cedar Harbor, Washington, retired school teacher Donna Galbreath enjoys working her garden and clam digging at the nearby beach. Though a member of the water board, she detests the meetings and thinks her fellow associates are a collection of idiots especially her next door neighbor cranky Cyrus Bates. Donna's favorite pastime is slinging slugs from her property onto that owned by Cyrus.
While walking the beach early one morning, Donna finds the murdered body of Lyle Corrigan, owner of Corrigan Hardware and chair of the Water Board. She calls the police. Chief Billy Donniker, who was in Donna's sixth grade class and was an idiot than and now is a bigger moron, accompanied by Jake Santorini investigates the crime scene. Not long afterward, Donna without thinking of the consequences of her action interferes with the case by failing to inform the police that she recognized a newcomer as Lyle's daughter. Unable to stay out of the investigation, Donna and Cyrus go sleuthing, seeking who had an economic reason to commit murder, but they also finds a link to sexual abuse incidents from two decades ago. The slug war between the sleuths leads to new catapult equipment.
This small town cozy is a fun tale due to the wonderful cast that makes for a fine story. The who-done-it (official and amateur) sometimes takes a back seat to the antics of the residents of Cedar Harbor. Fans who appreciate a warm comfy murder mystery with limited action beyond slug droppings will enjoy the teaming of natural enemies Donna and Cyrus seeking to learn who killed Lyle.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner