Thursday, November 20, 2008

ASKING FOR MURDER by Roberta Isleib

By Roberta Isleib
Berkley Prime Crime
375 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014
ISBN: 9780425223314
Paperback, 23 pages, $6.99 US
Genre: Cozy Mystery

When psychotherapist Rebecca Butterman’s friend, therapist Annabelle Hart, misses a luncheon engagement and does not return her calls, Rebecca becomes concerned. She goes to her friend’s house and finds Annabelle badly beaten. Annabelle is rushed to the hospital, where she lies in coma. Rebecca’s attempts to see Annabelle at the hospital are denied by Annabelle’s sister, a cold woman who writes a catty gossip column. Rebecca incorporates the help of Detective Meigs, who concludes that Annabelle was beaten as the result of a botched robbery, and then mysteriously disappears. Rebecca decides to do some sleuthing on her own, which isn’t easy with so many people connected to Annabelle acting suspicious, if not guilty.

This third outing in the Advice Column Mystery series by Roberta Isleib proves another winner. Rebecca Butterman is complicated, has unresolved issues, and is still trying to find her way in the world. She can be petty and has lingering doubts about her divorce, but overall is intelligent and loyal and works hard to make the best out of the situations she finds herself in while trying to deal with past traumas and lingering issues. Isleib throws in plenty of red herrings, wrapped around an intriguing plot.

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