New York Times best-selling author Carolyn Hart's ghostly gumshoe Bailey Ruth Raeburn is frequently amusing...but this is the first time she's been a muse.
When you wish upon a star, you get...Bailey Ruth? You do if you're a little girl whose mom needs help and you touch the soft heart of Supervisor Wiggins at Heaven's Department of Good Intentions. Granted it's not the usual task of an emissary, but then again Bailey Ruth is not your usual emissary. So Wiggins dispatches the spunky spirit to her old hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma, to help a single mother and struggling writer find some creative solutions to her problems.
Deidre Davenport is just about broke, trying to support her two children, and has her hopes pinned on getting a faculty job with the Goddard College English department. Jay Knox, who is in charge of the writer's conference she's participating in, will decide who gets the job, but he's more interested in her body than her body of work.
Not long after his advances are rejected, Knox turns up dead - and Deirdre's fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Bailey Ruth knows Deirdre is innocent and that the professor's lewd behavior is bound to have rubbed others the wrong way. Now she must find out who really knocked off Knox...if Deirdre and her family are ever going to have a happy ending.
©2015 Carolyn Hart (P)2015 Penguin Audio
I am a long-time fan of Carolyn G. Hart, starting with her Death on Demand series of mysteries. When the Bailey Ruth Raeburn stories began, I jumped right in. The premise is wonderful: a heavenly emissary who is sent back to Earth now and then to help someone in a pickle. Things generally go from bad to worse from there, which is great for the story line.
The series takes place in Adelaide, Oklahoma, and as the series has progressed, the Adelaide Police Department has become more aware of Bailey Ruth, and in this fifth story, they seem to be accepting of her, as well. That makes sense for the story line, and poses all kinds of story development for the future. (Bailey Ruth has even become a bit of a matchmaker!) What doesn't make sense is a police department that seems to be veering more and more away from police procedure.
In this particular story, I found myself thinking, "A police chief in charge of a murder investigation would NOT being sharing that information with the public!" And I found myself thinking it more than once. Or twice. And whether he liked it or not, a police chief would arrest a suspect as soon as he had enough evidence to make the charge stick. Bailey Ruth seems to be pushing the envelope, too ... skirting very close to telling outright lies, sharing information that wouldn't be shared with a child under the guise of a police officer, and encouraging a child to lie to a parent. Bailey Ruth isn't an angel, but I expect better behavior from a heavenly emissary!
Having said all of that, this is a cozy, not a police procedural. If you are a fan of cozy mysteries, you'll enjoy a good read/listen. Will I be back for the next installment? Of course! I began by saying I am a Carolyn Hart fan!! Do I hope for a Bailey Ruth who plays it a little closer to the heavenly precepts and uses different tactics to accomplish her mission? Yes. Yes, I do.
I enjoyed the book immensely. It kept you guessing to the very end. Of course the Bailey Ruth character was just as fun loving as she always is! I can't wait for the authors next adventure in this series..
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