Pretty is as Pretty Dies
Parke Stockard was certainly sitting pretty. Blessed with good looks and business sense to boot, she should have been content. Instead, Parke makes trouble in her small town.
When retired octogenarian schoolteacher Myrtle Clover discovers her body, no one in Bradley is particularly upset. Myrtle decides to show up her police chief son and investigate the crime herself. And, just in time to play detective, she meets a widower newcomer who proves the perfect sidekick.
The amusing first in a new cozy series from Craig (A Dyeing Shame) introduces Myrtle Clover, a sturdy octogenarian who writes a column for the Bradley, N.C., newspaper, the Bradley Bugle. When developer and realtor Parke Stockard, an unpopular busybody, dies from blunt force trauma while messing with church altar flowers, Myrtle helps her police chief son, Red, investigate. Could the killer be rival Bugle columnist Josh Tucker; Parke's drugged-out son, Cecil; or a gossipy book clubber like Kitty Kirk? When Kitty's killed by another blunt force trauma, the plot thickens, and with Bradley's population only 1,500, chances are Myrtle knows the criminal. Myrtle's wacky personality is a delight (she collects garden gnomes that she trots out to her yard whenever she's displeased with Red), but hopefully Craig will add more depth to the snooping in the sequel.