Pride v. prejudice

Joan Hess

Book - 2015

"Claire Malloy, for as long as she can remember, has been the local bookseller and owner of the Book Depot and the widowed mother of teenage Caron, who frequently speaks in ALL CAPS. But her life has changed dramatically in recent years. Claire has married her longtime beau, Deputy Police Chief Peter Rosen. Still the owner of the Book Depot, Claire has passed the day-to-day running of it on to her very efficient employees. With Caron inching ever closer to college, there's but one thing that remains steadfastly unchanged--Claire's astonishing ability to attract, find, or even just randomly stumble across trouble. Summoned for jury duty, the prosecutor on a murder case, harboring a grudge against her husband, decides to humili...ate Claire and dismiss her. Having done so in spectacular enough fashion to make the local news, Claire decides that revenge will be the next dish she serves. She hunts down the defendant in the case, a woman accused of murdering her husband, and offers to help prove her innocence. And not just because Claire wants to humilitate the prosecutor. There are only two problems. One--the defendant is looking guiltier by the minute. And two--the worst day imaginable has finally come: Claire's dreaded new mother-in-law is coming to visit and life in prison is starting to look good"--

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Mystery fiction
New York : Minotaur Books 2015.
Main Author
Joan Hess (-)
First edition
Physical Description
262 pages ; 25 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Claire Malloy, bookstore owner in Farberville, Arkansas, is having a bad day. Her new mother-in-law is coming to town, sure to be critical of everything, as Claire's teen daughter already is, but neither matches the experience of being interviewed by prosecuting attorney Edwin Wessell for jury impanelment. It seems Wessell has a grudge against Claire and her new husband, the deputy police chief. After badgering her in court, he dismisses her from the case and she takes up the cause of the defendant, accused of murdering her husband. It looks like a slam dunk for the prosecution: the couple lived on a remote farm, the gunshot was heard by neighbors, and the defendant has no alibi. As Claire investigates all the while trying to stay away from Wessell and the county police she unearths half-truths, changed identities, and old alliances. As with others in the series, the plot is nicely leavened with humor, realistic family vignettes, and diverse characters, some loopy and eccentric, others sympathetic.--Muller, Karen Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Agatha-finalist Hess smoothly blends humor and detecting in her 20th Claire Malloy mystery (after 2013's Murder as a Second Language). When belligerent prosecutor Edwin Wessell dismisses Claire from jury duty, the unfairness of it all drives her to investigate defendant Sarah Swift's alleged murder of her highly unpleasant husband, John Cunningham. Overwhelmed public defender Evan Toffle welcomes her snooping, and even Claire's new husband, Deputy Chief Peter Rosen of the Farberville, Ark., police department, is willing to help. Others are not so cooperative, and Claire encounters one dead end after another. Meanwhile, her high school-age daughter, Caron, and Caron's sidekick, Inez Thornton, are on the trail of the ugly wedding gift that Peter's mother gave Peter and Claire. The gift must be found before a just-announced visit from Peter's mother-which may be the worst family crisis Claire has ever had. Spending time with Claire and the other citizens of Farberville is always a treat. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Prolific mystery writer Hess, who recently won the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement, returns with her 20th book in the "Claire Malloy" series (following Murder as a Second Language). Claire, a bookseller, should be settling into blissful married life with DPC Peter Rosen, but she is too peeved by the prosecuting attorney's unnecessarily humiliating rejection of her during jury selection for Sarah Swift's murder trial. To spite the attorney, Claire promises Sarah, accused of shooting her husband, to help win her case. The problem is that the evidence points to Sarah's guilt, and Claire is in a race against time to solve the mystery before the dreaded arrival of her new mother-in-law. Laced with her trademark humor, Hess's latest novel proves once again that good cozy mysteries need not only take place in picturesque English villages-small college towns in Arkansas will do just fine. Claire's conversations with her teenage daughter, Caron, are especially amusing and so true to life. Series fans won't be disappointed. VERDICT Readers of humorous cozies can rejoice that Hess is still turning out entertaining, comical mysteries. [See Prepub Alert 10/13/14; library marketing.]-Barbara Clark-Greene, Groton P.L., CT (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Bookseller Claire Malloy (Murder as a Second Language, 2013, etc.) gets pissed off at a local prosecutor.After getting bounced from a jury after a voir dire she thought had not enough voir and too much dire, Claire does what any self-respecting, educated adult would do: goes on a rampage against Prosecuting Attorney Edwin Wessell, hoping to ruin his case against Sarah Swift, who's accused of killing her husband, John "Tuck" Cunningham. With no reason to think Sarah didn't in fact kill Tuck, Claire has her work cut out for her. Sarah trumpeted her frustration with Tuck to anyone who'd listen. She has no alibi, and her explanationthat she somehow slept through the shotgun blast that killed her spouse and simply found his body when she awoke and went to the barn on their organic blueberry farm the next morningsounds absurd even to Claire. Sarah's court-appointed lawyer, Evan Toffle, strikes her as someone who "lives in his parents' basement and has yet to lose his virginity." And the only witness who offers any alternative explanation for Tuck's demise is Billy, 4-year-old grandson of fellow organic blueberry farmers William and Junie Lund, who insists that on the night in question, Tuck went to the barn to escape the zombies cavorting in a nearby field. Determined to make a fool of Wessell anyway, Claire persists until a figure from Sarah and Tuck's past casts a new, more sinister light on his death. Even a dreamboat husband and a dream house don't seem to satisfy Claire, whose sulky sense of amour-propre makes her teenage daughter, Caron, seem mature. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.