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    Review of CANDY APPLE RED by Nancy Bush (see her website)


    Kensington, October 2005

    Bobby Reynolds was no good. After killing his wife and children, Bobby vanished--and has been gone for four years. So why now is Bobby's mother asking process server and almost-a-private-detective Jane Kelly to look into the mystery? Certainly it has something to do with the rumors that Bobby's father, Cotton, is sick and may not be around much longer--that and the fact that if Cotton dies, there's a lot of money that's going to change hands.

    Jane is reluctant to get involved with the mystery. After all, four years before, her boyfriend, Murphy, broke up with her and headed out of town when he couldn't deal with the reality that his best friend had become a killer. With both Cotton and Bobby's mother in denial, trying to believe good things about their son, Jane knows she's going to be uncomfortable. Still, five hundred dollars for a single meeting is impossible to turn down. And Jane really does want to prove to her sometimes boss, Dwayne, that she can handle the job on her own.

    Jane spends a lot of time thinking about exactly what to wear (generally Nikes, but sometimes flip-flops or "strappy sandals," caging free drinks at the exclusive lakeside restaurant, and obsessing about her long-lost but possibly restarting relationship with Murphy, but can't seem to let go of the mystery even when her client tells her to drop it.

    Author Nancy Bush (see more reviews of mysteries by Bush) fills her story with slightly shady characters--from Cotton and his fleet of wives and lovers, to the three men who circle Jane like hawks (Murphy, Dwaine, and Booth), to the dogs, both dangerous and not-so-much who play a critical role in establishing both the mystery and the resolution.

    If you're looking for a light beach-time read, you'll find CANDY APPLE RED to be just the thing. I doubt anyone will be too surprised when the killer is finally revealed.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 3/12/06

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