Carol MacLeod - This story line is really tight, unique and original...a fantastic read.
Scott Olson -
The ending took me by surprise.
Midwest Book Review
Peggy Swager is a
non-fiction author and long time member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction
Writers; the Pikes Peak Writer; and the SouthWest Writers. She is now
writing and publishing fiction books.
Kate Summers took a job as a cop in Columbine, Colorado. Divorced and leery
of men, she soon finds that a new neighbor has bought a house across the
street. He happens to be a lawyer, and when her high school aged
babysitter's foster mother suddenly dies of unexplained causes, his
abilities are a new source of help. For Kate must interview people she has
grown to care for in the community and dredge up past conflicts and hurts
to figure out who killed a bitter old woman who delighted in causing others
"'No, not Ethel.' Geri's words turned bitter. 'Never anything
physical. Ethel twisted the law and used her money to do her dirty work.'
Geri scowled. 'Ethel had a big problem with her brother. You see, Ed never
missed having the money she enjoyed, and he never resented her for hogging
it all, not even for a moment. Ethel may have stormed around and screamed
at Ed, but she didn't have any power over him anymore. Did you know he
started drinking after we broke up the first time?'"
Swager's plots are somewhat linear, in that Kate Summers is trying to find
out who offed a horrible old woman who loved to use her money to hurt
people. But where Swager excels is in the motive department. Nothing
corrupts like money, and it is up to Kate to examine the underlying
impulses of people she sees on an everyday basis. Therein lies the rub for
Kate, and the resulting conflict as she works her way to a painful
conclusion dredges up the past for her. Her father was also a cop, and when
upsetting things happened to him, Kate lost the closeness she enjoyed as
his daughter. Her children won't suffer the same fate.
MURDER WAS A STRANGER is a good old fashioned whodunit with clean lines.
The murder isn't too bloody; Kate doesn't get beaten to a bloody pulp; and
the bad guys aren't running around causing unbearable havoc. As to who did
it...that is for the reader to figure out.
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