Bailey Green has returned to Key West to help her elderly friend, Francine Shipton. She will live in a guest cottage at the Eden Palms estate while working as her secretary and gofer on a project to help the homeless on the island. It also gives Bailey a chance to at least work on her music part time while she escapes the Iowa winter and recent painful memories. A good plan for both Bailey and Francine and one that both are very much looking forward to as the novel begins.
Too bad Francine Shipton is dead.
While Bailey was waiting at the airport for Francine to pick her up, neighbor Winton Gravely discovered Francine lying dead at the bottom of the stairs in her house. Of course it could have just been a freak accident that resulted in an accidental death. If it was an accident, how would one explain the fact that a dead black snake was wrapped around her neck twice with the head shoved through Francineâ€™s mouth and deep into her throat?
Clearly, it was murder though the police donâ€™t seem to want to accept the obvious in the beginning. The question is who did it?Â The suspects are many, the clues few, and before long Bailey Green has set her music aside in favor of sleuthing.
Featuring the same quirky characters as her other books set in Key West, author Dorothy Francis once again brings Key West to life for readers. Along with plenty of historical trivia and cultural nuggets, eccentric characters and a hint of romance, there is greed, deceit and murder in this latest cozy style novel. Homage is paid to the mystery masters as well with an early scene depicting all the suspects and the police detective gathered together in the solarium.Â
An enjoyable novel from start to finish, one wonders if this is the first novel in a planned new series. If so, this book is a rock solid foundation to build from. If not, this latest cozy style novel from the author is another very enjoyable read and one worthy of your attention.
Eden Palms Murder: A Key West Mystery
Five Star (Gale/Cengage Learning)
October 17, 2008
ARC provided by the author in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple Â© 2009