Mira, Nov 2003, 23.95, 400 pp.
Not long after his brother Guy died, New Orleans restaurateur David Patin dies in a fire at his establishment Chez Charlotte. Besides grieving their loss, his wife and daughter Vivian are shocked to learn how much in debt they are. They move to Guy's former estate Rosebank, which they inherited planning to convert the property into an exclusive resort.
Their lawyer Louis Martin drives out to give them some good news that Guy left with his inheritance. However, someone kills the attorney just before local Sheriff Spike Devol arrives for dinner. Bullying Detective Bonine leads the investigation in which he suspects the Patin women killed Louis since Vivian inadvertently destroyed the crime scene. As Bonine pressures the two women, Vivian and Spike fall in love, but first he must uncover the identity of a killer and resolves to discover what Guy left them to keep them solvent.
Fans of police procedural romances will enjoy this delightful thriller. The story line is loaded with action as the audience will appreciate the lead couple and their efforts to do the right thing. Except for the police detective the secondary cast adds depth to the plot. KISS THEM GOODBYE is a strong Bayou suspense tale, a novel that lives up to Stella Cameron's reputation as a great author.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner