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by Julie Wray Herman
Silver Dagger Mysteries, May 2001
182 pages
ISBN: 1570721793

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Korine McFaile, Janey Bascom and Amilou Whittier are partners in a landscaping business known as Three Dirty Women. Korine, the senior partner, had begun the business. Janey and Korine are attending a landscaping convention in Savannah Originally, they had planned to room together, but Janeyžs husband J.J. (who also happens to be their home town chief of police) decided to accompany his wife and make a vacation of the trip.

As a result of J. J.žs presence Korine is assigned the kind of roommate usually only found in nightmares. Participation in the conference events becomes very uncomfortable because of this; especially since her roommate is also the cousin of the organizer of the Southern Small Landscapers Conference. Anything Korine may say regarding her roommate Dodie is easily misconstrued and taken as a complaint. Add to this a mystery man who appears very interested and familiar with Korine. When the inevitable crime occurs Korine rapidly becomes one of the chief suspects.

Naturally, the protagonist is very interested in proving her innocence; having a handy chief of police allows entrance to situations and knowledge not usually available to the amateur. The story behind the murder is not only quite clever, but not easily discovered.

I found the main characters amusing and interesting. Ms. Herman has a good ear for dialogue and plotting. However, the some of the personal interactions between characters (especially those who are already intimate friends or lovers) and the plot devices seemed contrived. Still, on the whole it was a pleasing reading experience.

Reviewed by Martha Hopkins, June 2002

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