Saturday, September 10, 2011

KILLER IN CONTROL by Dorothy Francis

KILLER IN CONTROL – Dorothy Francis
Five Star
ISBN: 978-1-43282-507-7
July 2011

Key West, Florida - Present Day

Police Sergeant Katherine Morgan, or Kitt, is running away from herself. She shot a man in self-defense, and now she’s been put on paid administrative leave while a review board decides her fate. It didn’t help that Kitt’s boyfriend deserted the minute she was put on leave. Since her badge is at stake and she might lose her job over the incident, Shelby Cox decided that Kitt was no longer good enough for him. Oh well, she doesn’t need Shelby anyhow. Trying to cope with her mistake, she’s decided to hide out at her sister’s bed and breakfast home in the Florida Keys. A few weeks at Janell’s home will help her. Just the sun and the surf and relaxation.

Relaxation is far from Kitt’s agenda, however, when she walks into The Poinsettia, Janell and Rex’s bed and breakfast inn. Abra Berrie, one of their guests, has been murdered, and the police suspect Rex of the deed. Abra Berrie was in the Florida Keys scouting locations for the big wind turbines her company builds. Lots of opposition reigns in the area; no one wants those big mechanical monsters dotting the landscape.

When Janell and Rex ask Kitt to solve Alba’s murder, she decides she might as well use this distraction to keep her mind off her own troubles back in Iowa. Kitt agrees to help her sister who introduces her to a mixed bag of strange characters, maybe suspects, who are friends and employees of Janell and Rex. There’s the gardener, Phud Ashby, who’s really a PhD; live-in psychic, Hella Flusher; and the musicians who play at the inn, Ace, Teach and Mama G. Did one of them kill Alba Berrie?

Kitt asks lots of questions and tries to find a motive for killing Ms. Berrie. The stakes are raised when she realizes that there is a KILLER IN CONTROL of her every action.

Kitt subsequently catches Rex in a lie, and both Ace and Teach have suspicious alibis. Hella Flusher refuses to use her powerful psychic insight to help the police catch the killer, and Rex keeps getting questioned by the detective on the case. Kitt wrestles with her investigation into Alba’s murder; while back home the review board is leaning toward a disciplinary action against her. Will she solve the murder and retain her job?

KILLER IN CONTROL is a nice, cozy mystery with suspenseful twists in the closing chapters. Kitt agonizes over the mistake she made back home while she plugs ahead in her investigation of Alba Berrie’s murder.

A cozy beach read for the end of the summer days, KILLER IN CONTROL is a quick and enjoyable read!

Diana Risso

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