The April selection for the Firewheel Barnes and Noble Mystery Discussion Group is shown in the picture. It is Strangled Prose by Joan Hess. It is another mystery involving a book store. BUT WAIT A MINUTE - because it is NOT another Booktown Mystery as discussed in some previous posts. This is the first book in A Claire Malloy Mystery. I did some checking on the Internet and there are currently 17 (yes, seventeen) books in this series by Joan Hess. I am not certain who in our group suggested reading this book but it looks like I have a lot of reading to do.
By the way, if you cannot tell from the above paragraph - I liked the book. So as the tradition of our reading group goes, I give the book a THUMBS UP. I will followup with a comment after our group meets to let you know what the consensus was of the group.
Claire Malloy is the proprietor of a book store called Book Depot. She has a friend - Mildred Twiller - who is an author of a series of "torrid" romance novels under the name of Azalea Twilight. Her friend has asked her to host a reception for her newest book at the Book Depot. She reluctantly agrees. (By the way, Claire's 14 year old daughter and a friend of her daughter's are big fans of Azalea Twilight.)
When the reception starts, every thing seems to be going well. However, a group has gathered outside to protest the book. At one point during the reception, one of the protesters comes in with a copy of the book and reads out some passages from it. These passages hit close to home describing embarrassing situations for several of the local college staff including Claire Malloy's dead husband. The author is flustered and leaves the reception. Shortly thereafter, she is found murdered and there is no shortage of suspects - including Claire Malloy.
Needless to say, Claire Malloy gets involved in investigating the murder and discovers some surprises. One surprise is that her friend "the author of the book" did not write the book. I will NOT give anymore away. If you are interested, you need to read the book. I think you will find it interesting. Who knows ... you might get hooked on the series!!