Kensington, June 2004, 22.00, 240 pp.
While Tinker's Cove, Maine is in an uproar, Lucy Stone, a reporter for the weekly Pennysaver, is worried about her family, her dog and the schism in the town. Lucy's canine Kudo keeps escaping from his pen no matter what she tries to keep him home. Her neighbor Pru Pratt want the dog put down because he keeps killing her chickens. To make matters worse their sons lobster fisherman Toby Stone and Pru's Wesley get into a fight over poaching and both are arrested. The town is forced to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks because the purple spotted lichen is an endangered species that might get harmed.
The town is also suffering from an influx of naturists and Pru is calling for a law to be passed to ban nude bathing. The veterans are angry that the holiday parade is being cancelled because the naturalists want to take part in the festivities and the church groups are vehemently opposed to that. On a heartbreaking note, Wesley accidentally runs over Kudo and when Lucy decides to visit Pru she finds the woman dead, the victim of murder. Now Lucy's family are suspects because they all had a motive to kill her.
STAR SPANGLED MURDER is an enthralling cozy that verges on the farcical at times especially when one disaster after another keeps on happening to the town and the folks who live there. The heroine is determined to catch the killer so she can get rid of the pesky media, makes the Stone's good name and return to the job she quit when the editor wouldn't let her report on Pru's murder. Leslie Meir keeps getting better with every book she writes.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner