Dunne, May 2002, 23.95, 257 pp.
Though she dislikes frats, Donna Woodleaf accompanies her friend Emily Willmarth to a final fling as Branbury College is shutting down any fraternity that refuses to go coed. That night baseball star Shep Noble takes Donna home, but tries to rape her. However, the Donna's "experience” turns even uglier by the next morning when Shep is found dead on the Woodleaf grounds. The police make inquiries into the death.
Though no charges have been filed, many neighbors convict the Woodleaf family because Donna's father is part Abenaki Native American and her mother Gwen grows marijuana and belladonna for medical purposes. As the official investigation begins to look closer at whether a homicide occurred, harassment of the Woodleafs commences. Donna asks Emily's mother Ruth to help her and her family. Though she has her own trouble with little income and raising three children by herself, Ruth coaxes her beau, part-time police officer Colm Hanna, to dig deeper into Shep's death even as she wonders if the murder of a professor is tied to the Noble homicide.
STOLEN HONEY is an exciting amateur sleuth – police procedural that never slows down for a paragraph. The story line is fast-paced and filled with a delightful ensemble cast. In her fourth mystery novel, Ruth remains a dynamic heroine. Though there is so much going on the audience will need a scorecard to keep track of what happens with the players, Nancy Means Wright knows the right means of providing an exhilarating tale that will satiate her growing legion of fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner