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A Nice Murder for Mom by James Yaffe

     

Middle-aged, Bronx-born New York detective Dave leaves the violence of the city streets for a change of pace as investigator for the district attorney’s office in the small Southwestern town of Mesa Grande. But he soon encounters as much mayhem, and even more hostility, prevarication, and cynicism in an unlikely spot: the English department of Mesa Grande College.

When Stuart Bellamy, scion of a distinguished family and recently tenured English professor, is bludgeoned to death with a bronze paperweight, suspicion falls on likeable professor Mike Russo, who was passed over for tenure in favor of Bellamy. Dave begins a tentative investigation of the case and is given pointed advice by an astute, highly intelligent, intuitive source: his visiting mother. Now in her 70s, Mom is a tough, shrewd New Yorker with a wry wit and an ability to mix keen analytical deductions with her more traditional talents as cook, mother and matchmaker.

This fast-paced mystery contains a rich trove of sharply etched supporting characters who animate the plot with caustic wit and imaginative ploys. Of course, Mom steals the show.

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Categories:   Fiction, Mystery & Crime


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