Title: Eat Crow and Die
Author: Maris Soule
Publisher: Five Star, Gale Cengage Learning
Release date: 5-20-15
A boat explodes on the cool, deep waters of Lake Michigan and two people die in this third book of Author Maris Soule’s “PJ Benson” series. Protagonist P.J. Benson, a self-employed accountant, is involved in the investigation.
This time, Detective Wade Kingsley isn’t pointing a finger at her. He’s on the other end of the evidence chain. Accused of killing his ex-wife and her new husband to prevent them from taking his son to live in California, Wade relies on girlfriend P.J. to keep him centered until the real offender is apprehended. At first it looks as if Wade rigged a propane burner to blow up his boat. As the multiple-layered plot progresses, investigators find material on P.J.’s property that might have been used to create a bottle bomb.
But P.J. is much more concerned about whether Wade will be around to help raise their unborn child than with remnants of old fireworks to prove her guilty. Morning sickness, angry in-laws, a disturbed mother and a burial site adds to the story’s checkered conflicts.
While P.J. is determined to prove Wade’s innocence, her emotions, her intuition, might also be hampered by familial schizophrenia. Though the pace and tension of Eat Crow and Die slows with the pregnancy and uncertain romance, the mystery is neatly resolved by P.J.’s persistence and ingenuity.
Author Soule’s extensive background in romantic fiction reveals itself in the creation of the accountant/ amateur sleuth mystery. Sure to have a sequel, this is a good choice for those who like a cozy and the possibility of a happily-ever-after ending.