Amy Hobbes never expected to solve anything tougher than a crossword puzzle. When she left her job as a journalist in Southern California, she planned to give the adrenaline a rest, but her next job, managing editor of a local newspaper, delivers some surprises. After a respected Senator and World War II hero dies and two more people turn up dead, the news heats up. Both victims had ties to a hotel owned by the Senator's family. With the help of reporter pal Clarice and the new man in her life, Phil, Amy uncovers a number of shadowy figures, including a Holocaust survivor who's spent 60 years tracking down Nazi loot. It's a complex and dangerous puzzle, but Amy can't walk away until she solves it.
©2011 Michele Drier (P)2012 Michele Drier
I truly liked Amy Hobbes as a protagonist, empty nest mother of a grown daughter, who's had a couple of bad breaks with relationships: widowed young when her cop husband is killed on duty, followed by a divorce from Mr. Wrong. The relationship she re-kindles with a former colleague seemed too good to be true to me, bordering on romance genre, but I suspect it's more that I'm not a woman of a certain age who might appreciate those details more than I did.
As with most first novels, the "mystery" angle vies with series setup details, so the ending wasn't the strongest part of the story. In my case, the professional relationship between Amy and her protégé reporter Clarice made for the most compelling aspect. My memory may not be the greatest, but I don't recall a story featuring women newsroom colleagues (Amy does give a "hat tip" to Edna Buchanan as a trailblazer).
I'm looking forward to the sequel that Ms. Drier has in the works, especially if Lee Ann Howlett narrates that one as well. Her Amy voice fits the character well, but I liked Clarice's quite a bit, also - no way you'll confuse the two women!
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