"A special mystery that was a labor of love"
Transplanted easterner Claire Sharples loves the San
Joaquin Valley residing on a mountain in a cabin where she
feels snug and secure. She works as botany pathologist at
the Citrus Cove Agricultural Field Research Station. Her
married supervisor Ramon has made it plain that he sees her
in a romantic light. Although she feels the same way, she
is keeping their relationship on a business level because
she doesn't intend to get hurt by a married man.
Ramon and Claire visit Erasmo Campos, a fruit grower
who has 'dry rot' on his peaches. While there, the dogs
dig up a skull with eyeglasses nearby. She tells Jewell
Scoggins about the discovery and the woman turns deathly
pale. Claire later finds Jewell dead. The medical
examiner says she died because of a heart attack but Claire
wonders if the death is related to the newly recovered
skull. As Claire investigates, someone tries to kill her
by pushing her into a rapidly moving river. Still Claire
is prepared to find the answers to the newly found skull
and how it relates to the Jewell's death.
Although Rebecca Rothenberg started this delightful
amateur sleuth novel, after her untimely death Taffy Cannon
completed the tale. The visual plot is very colorful with
much description of the area in which it takes place. The
characters are a zany and eccentric trio that readers will
adore because they are different. Ms. Cannon pays the
ultimate tribute to Ms. Rothenberg by brilliantly
completing this work so that the audience not only fails to
know who wrote what, but enjoys every page.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted August 21, 2001