Holt, Feb 2003, 25.00, 336 pp.
DC based FBI Agent Poppy Rice and her boyfriend ATF Field Advisor Joe Barnow go on a “required” vacation on Block Island, Rhode Island after her harrowing war in Texas (see LOVE HER MADLY). While riding a bike, Poppy finds the corpse of a teen.
Poppy performs her civil duty by calling the police. A local physician concludes that the female victim died from using bad drugs, but an autopsy proves Dana was clean plus there were external injuries on the body. Three days later, a second teen is found dead. The two share in common attendance at Camp Guinevere, a camp for the obese. Police Officer Francis X. Fitzgerald investigates the homicides, but Poppy finds him and the “medical examiner lacking as the former spends most of his time drinking and the latter under the influence of a prescription drug. Thus Poppy does what she does best, conducting her own inquiries as to whom killed the two overweight farm campers even as the island is quarantined due to a reported plague epidemic.
In her second engagement Poppy Rice remains a wonderful law enforcement investigator who cannot resist involvement even when it could cost her life. The “dual” investigations (local vs. Poppy) are fun to compare as one seems indifferently amateurish while the other passionately professionalism. Joe enables the reader to see the feminine side Of Poppy while the islanders add quirky amusing peculiarities to an enjoyable tale that means forty-eight states and several territories to go.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner