Avon, Feb 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
The mystery club members discuss the latest Jayne Mansfield-Smythe novel and the newcomer Logan Wolfe while meeting at A Study in Scarlett Mystery Book & Tea Shoppe in Plentiful, Wyoming. Though they think Jayne is an idiot they enjoy her antics and at times try to emulate their heroine. On the other hand, the three elderly female members think that Logan is out for no good.
The shoppe owner Scarlett O'Malley and Logan are extremely attracted to one another from the first moment he notices her belly button ring. She distrusts men after the lessons of her mother and though she wants him, Scarlett keeps pulling away from Logan, driving him crazy. He already knows her reputation for eccentricity, but still wants her. The former Vegas cop becomes even more wary as Scarlett continues her several years quest to prove the Chief of Police, her stepfather, drove her mother crazy ultimately causing her death.
Fans of romantic suspense starring an offbeat Miss Marple wannabe will gain much enjoyment from Patti Berg's latest intrigue. The story line is at its stratospheric pinnacle during the scenes in which the two lead protagonists are together or the three geriatric amateur sleuths abet Scarlett on her inquiries. Though the woody climax seems abruptly out of kilter, readers will appreciate this delightful story and anxiously await the next Plentiful novel starring the author of the Jayne books.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner