Meet Josephine Fuller, a sleuth of size who doesn't apologize. The first book in the award-winning Josephine Fuller Mystery series introduces "Jo" Fuller, full-figured and full of attitude with abundant sleuthing skills. In Larger Than Death Jo takes time off from her new job checking out potential charities for an eccentric socialite and walks into a murder scene. Her best friend and early role model, Nina—a plus-sized clothing designer—lies slain in her own apartment. Was she the victim of a serial killer who targets voluptuous women? Or is the murder personal? As Jo copes with her friend's murder, an unexpected romance and a bizarre host of neighbors, she races to find the killer before becoming the next victim.
Big is beautiful in this debut. "I've never weighed less than 200 pounds in my adult life," declares amateur sleuth Josephine Fuller, "not counting the chip on my shoulder." Troubleshooter for a philanthropist, Fuller uses a Seattle trip to visit her friend Nina West, who makes lovely large-size dresses and instills self-confidence in her heavy customers. Fuller finds Nina murdered, with "Kill the Whales!" lipsticked on the bathroom mirror. A slasher dubbed Captain Ahab has dispatched several full-figured women in similar fashion. There's an apartment house full of suspects, including mercurial building manager Nadine, a scary computer nerd named Eric and the secretive Mulligan, Nina's apparent boyfriend, with whom Fuller quickly (and guiltily) falls in lust. Fuller soon uncovers Nina's past involvement in a religious cult and an unlikely connection with a manipulative diet guru who made millions by preying on the insecurities of overweight people. Sometimes, Murray's attempts to add extra wit to Fuller's narration yield only precious cuteness, and the message--that those who wear large sizes are people, too--clangs loudly and often. But Fuller is a character of substance, not just size. She and her strong supporting cast should produce even better entertainment when she gets that chip off her shoulder.