Fawcett, Sept 2001, 6.99, 272 pp.
At the moment Josie is content and has her world in order, living on one of the barrier islands in Florida. She owns her own construction business and is involved in a deep meaningful relationship with her significant other. All that changes when Hurricane Agatha is supposed to directly hit the island. Before evacuating, Josie goes to get something from the house she is remodeling but finds the owner dead with something of hers wrapped around his neck.
Since the police chief of the island dislikes her, Josie does not report the murder. When everyone returns home after the hurricane passes, Josie finds the house and the body are gone. The victim's three daughters arrive on the island insisting something happened to their father. One of Josie's friends had illegal dealings with him back in New York and hated the man. Her boyfriend's mother, also on the island, was dating the man. There are so many suspects and so few clues that even for an expert amateur sleuth like Josie Pigeon, this is a difficult case to solve.
Valerie Wolzein writes some of the best amateur sleuth mysteries in the genre today. MURDER IN THE FORECAST displays a dry sense of humor (even during the hurricane), a colorful and atmospheric scenery, and best of all a believable plot. The author turns Hurricane Agatha into the main adversary of the tale. The heroine is an independent feminist who likes her work as a construction worker and makes the audience believe that she genuinely enjoys it. This novel and the other books in the series are must reading for mystery lovers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner