Thursday, February 24, 2011

A colorful style of sleuthing

Avon Books

Index to Murder
by Jo Dereske
published by Avon Books
cover art credit: Avon Books

My review copy came from the local library.

In Index to Murder, the latest in Jo Dereske’s Miss Zukas Mysteries, she has Wilhemina (Helma) Zukas, her librarian heroine pondering her way through the mystery of who has broken into the home of her best friend, the artist Ruth Winthrop, and stolen two of Ruth’s paintings. Ruth has recently gone through a painful break up with her boyfriend Paul and the split inspired a series of works, all based on Ruth’s former lovers.

Well, not only have the paintings gone missing, but the two lovers depicted in them have turned up dead. And Ruth drags Helma into the trouble, where the two put their heads together, try to solve the mystery, both inside and outside Helma’s beloved Bellehaven Public Library. Meanwhile, Ms. Moon, the head librarian at Bellehaven Public Library is injured, and tries to pull the whole library staff into her latest figurative assault against the town mayor’s argument against allocating funds for a new library she craves. Surely somehow this accident can be used to change his mind. What the woman doesn’t know is it may give a clue as to who stole Ruth’s paintings, and why. Then there’s the mysterious environmental group Ground Up! And Helma still has to make a decision on where she sees her tentative relationship with chief of police Wayne Gallant going.

This one was recommended to me by the librarians at the local library, and I must say, I found it a very enjoyable read. Jo Dereske’s Index to Murder, the eleventh title in the Miss Zukas Mysteries, has a lot going on in a few short 259 pages. But it’s an intriguing little whodunit, at times, sweet, and incredibly funny, that I think most cozy mystery fans will enjoy. If you’d like to give it a try, I’m sure you can find a copy at the library, or at any Barnes and Noble. Or you can find it in paperback, or ebook, online at the usual spots, Amazon, and the barnes and noble website.

My rating? Well, I really enjoyed it, it's funny, it's interesting, and I loved the characters, so I have to do it:

For More info on author Jo Dereske and her works, see here website at:
(As usual, there's a slightly different version of this review up at The Examiner. If you could, please, give it a click here, I'd be appreciative.)
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