A DEAD NUN, A COLD CASE, A MASSIVE SMALL-TOWN SCANDAL…
Keeping out of trouble just isn't on Leah Nash’s list of accomplishments. But reporting is—and she has ten years’ experience to prove it. So if she’s such great reporter, why is she back living with her mom in freezing Himmel, Wisconsin instead of covering crime in sunny Miami?
Answer: Good reporter, even better smartass; fired in disgrace. In other words, everybody’s favorite kind of female sleuth: smart with a smart mouth, intensely independent, willing to go where no one else will, and, when you get right down to it, fearless.
Susan Hunter’s somewhat cozy, sometimes hard-boiled, and altogether absorbing small-town mystery gets off to an action-packed and deliciously chilling start as Leah watches city crews try to stop a dead oak adrift on the swollen Himmel River from colliding with a dam. And suddenly finds herself looking at this potential headline: "Dead Nun Floats Into Town." Because it turns out the oak picked up quite a bit of debris in its journey, including a body.
Small towns being what they are, Leah soon realizes the nun is an acquaintance of hers, someone she’d liked and, much more to the point, someone who worked at the school Leah’s own younger sister attended at the time she died—officially in an accident. Clearly, this death needs to be investigated—Leah’s sure there’s a connection. She's also sure there’s more to her sister’s death than the police ever uncovered.
Everyone else in town is pretty sure Leah’s out of her mind. When that happens in a small town, you can be pretty sure it’s because a good number of them are involved in a murder and cover-up, at the very least. In this case, the crime conspiracy is huge—far bigger than any story Leah’d cover on a balmy day in Miami.
Part of the delight here is in watching the underdog prevail, and also in brave, determined Leah herself, along with the amusing and engaging ensemble every small-town mystery must have—her solicitous mom; Courtnee the airhead receptionist; Miguel, her colleague and gay best friend; and her childhood buddy Coop, now a Himmel police lieutenant.
Fans of MWA Grandmaster Carolyn Hart will eat it up, as will those who love Joan Hess’s Maggody series, Sharyn McCrumb’s Ballad books, plus the more contemporary work of writers like Louise Penny (Three Pines, Canada) and Christine Kling (the Florida Keys). Fans of reporter sleuths like Hank Philippi Ryan’s Jane Ryland will find a new favorite detective in Leah Nash.