By: Jill Shure
Publisher: Syntax Books
Publication Date: October 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 9, 2010
Betsy Ross was the type of gal who only had one regret. Well, make that two. She rued the day her parents, Abe and Ida Ross, decided to name her after a seamstress. And secondly she regretted that Ken Blanchard always seemed to take her for granted, drifting in and out of her life. Mostly out these days. She thought to herself every time they played sleepover, “I didn’t want this. I wanted a husband, a family, a ring on my finger, and a lawn mower.” She had Sofia, her ten-year-old daughter, and no regrets there, but the dating game was getting to her. The most exciting thing that had happened to her in recent memory was when she had to go fetch Richard Kluger off the ledge of the building by telling him if he committed suicide it would violate the terms of his insurance policy.
Betsy’s the lame name, insurance was her game . . . at Aloss insurance agency. It wasn’t easy always “telling people about deadly illnesses and death benefits,” but a job was a job and she was good at it. The Saturday night “leftover party” she attended with her best friend, Arlene Silvers, and a couple other friends had been a mixed bag. It was one of those events, “where everyone invites over her last great love and a few lesser loves, so [the] losers can be recycled.” Everyone knows that recycling equals green, but Betsy only ended up going green with envy because that miserable Courtney Farrow, was after Ken. She was one of those gorgeous trust fund gals from back east who had everything going for her, including “guys [who] fell for her like bricks.” As luck would have it, Courtney got totally miffed at Betsy and threw a drink in her face.
That drink just could have been a motive for murder. Next thing you know, Miss Trust Fund, according to Arlene, ended up “fried like a chicken” in her neighbor’s garage. It wasn’t long before Detectives Raine and Williams were checking out everyone who ever had anything to do with her. In the “man” department that meant half of San Diego. Betsy and Arlene had already checked out Courtney’s condo and Betsy pocketed a “tiny telephone book” with nine names in it. Unfortunately for Betsy her very own “silver hoop earring with a single black pearl” had been clutched in darling Courtney’s hand when she was unexpectedly fried. Threatening calls and notes began shortly after the murder. “Return the book, or you’ll be sorry.” Betsy surely was going to be sorry if she didn’t figure out who killed Courtney. Misery loves company, but she didn’t want to end up like another piece of Kentucky fried. Who really had a motive to kill Courtney? Why was that little book so important?
If you are into cozy mysteries with an adult theme, language, and humor, this lighthearted mystery will keep you chuckling with glee as you try to figure out who did in Courtney Farrow (a.k.a Delilah and Sydney Louise). You’ll be ogling the pages as if you were a member of Courtney’s fan club, a passel of men (and a few women) who couldn’t keep their eyes off her when she was on the Dancin’ Beauties club stage. Jill Shure was able to keep me laughing, but also wondering whodunit. The main characters were well developed and I was anxious to see who was going to show up next. Betsy, who was part hottie and part Gidget, was a very appealing female “detective” most readers would like to see in a series. Of course that vixen, Courtney, Betsy’s friends, and a few of their dashing admirers would be more than welcome to attend the next “leftover party.”
Quill says: This mystery was a winner and if there’s a sequel I’m in!
For more information on A Clause for Murder, please visit the author's website at: JillShure.com