Mattie Lee, a journalist in Southern California, becomes a tenacious investigator in this smart, contemporary mystery filled with small town intrigue. An unhappy, failed woman returns to town to commit suicide - or so it seems. A wealthy citizen is stabbed in the dark in her foothills home. Her charismatic priest breaks into "heavenly language," which sounds like gibberish to some. He is then confronted by a man with a shotgun. What's going on?
I love the choice of setting, Covina, over nearby L.A. It seems life goes on as usual in the small community, and that the killings have nothing to do with Hollywood, drugs, race relations, or environmental politics, but are motivated by old-fashioned emotions. This puts us in the picture. Just as familiar and appealing is the woman who is stuck with the crime column. The greatest threat to Mattie's life is cancer. I was intrigued, too, by the realistic friendship angle. Middle-aged career women are not always chasing after men; some value their female colleagues as people they can count on. We get an introduction to a younger woman with an interesting past, Egypt Rosen, now a private detective, who stars in two other excellent Pete Palamountain mysteries.
EGYPT AND THE MEDAL OF HONOR (The Egypt Rosen Chronicles #2)