by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Rhythm & Clues. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
When told that her mother is a bad influence at Seaside Retirement Community, Odelia Grey certainly is not surprised. An alcoholic who disappeared when Odelia was a teenager, Grace Littlejohn may be on the wagon, but she hasn’t slowed down for a second. When Shelita Thomas meets with Odelia for an unfriendly cup of coffee, it is over concerns that Grace is leading Shelita’s father astray and on a wild good chase for a missing resident. Odelia’s opinion is that Shelita should mind her own business, but upon questioning the couple learns that they may have just cause for their concern. Boaz Shankleman was once the famous Bo Shank, lead singer of the rock band Acid Storm and who has uncharacteristically left town without notifying his friends. Neither Seaside management nor the police seem unduly concerned, but that changes when the body of a woman is discovered in Bo’s townhouse. Cydney Fox initially broke up the band by sleeping with several of the members, so it was hard to explain why she was now managing the remaining members for a reunion tour. Even more inexplicable is why she was murdered, Bo and his taco terrier disappeared, or how Odelia seemed to have passed on her legacy as a “Corpse Magnet” on to her visiting niece.
Odelia’s husband Greg may be away on business, but that doesn’t mean that she lacks any number of loved ones concerned about her safety. The half-brother she recently met is more than a little overprotective, which is why he and Greg call in some less-than-legal assistance. Willie Proctor has remained on the run and under the radar following some Robin Hood white collar crimes, and he wields his considerable street-smart and occasionally ruthless intelligence to watch Odelia’s back. Even he will have difficultly reigning in Odelia, her niece fleeing a broken marriage, and her mother, all of whom adamantly declare their right to stay involved even if it entails the dubious but hilarious use of Uber.
What I adore about this Odelia Grey Mystery series is that while Odelia’s corpse magnet tendencies continue to be a running joke; her plus-sized status is barely even mentioned. The confident Orange County paralegal has no trouble calling in a dark web researcher or bossing around attorney Mike Steele. Author Sue Ann Jaffarian delights in exploring these shenanigans of retirement community residents, whose activities seem to rival that of the bygone rock music era. These characters feel so well established and connected to one another that readers will feel equally at home spending time with them. As exciting as it is witty and with a dash of snark, this eleventh in the series continues to evolve its characters to the point that they are nearly springing off the page. A surprising amount of suspenseful action further enhances this reliably entertaining mystery.
To enter to win a copy of Rhythm & Clues, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “clues,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 19, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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