My latest read, a free book I put on my Nook. I really enjoy this story, I’m about half done, and I see the author has just released the second book for this series. Traci Tyne Hilton has another series of books that are mysteries as well, so those will be going on my need-to-get list.
Good, Clean Murder-A Plain Jane Mystery
Author-Traci Tyne Hilton
Jane Adler wants nothing more than to finish out her college degree and travel overseas for missionary work. It seems as if fate has other plans. While Jane is cleaning a client’s house (student by night, maid by day) she discovers her boss’s (Bob Crawford) dead body. Calling the police, she does the obligatory question and answer game with the police as best she can in her frame of mind. It is the police who discover the wife’s body (Pamela) in the bedroom. Is it possible that both died of a heart attack, on the same day? He had a previous heart attack, and they were both overweight. They also owned the popular hamburger joint franchise, Roly Burgers.
Jane seems to be familiar with Murphy (you know, Murphy’s Law?), because it seems like everything from the get-go is going wrong for her. Talking to the secretary at her school, trying to figure out how she is going to pay for class since the Crawford’s forgot to put her pay out before they died, Jane is told that there has been a schedule change. Concerned about missing her last required class for her degree, Jane is told by the secretary that the whole program is basically worthless, and that at the end of the year she would get her piece of paper whether she took that class or not.
Not exactly the cheerful news she could have used, huh?
Waiting for their new instructor to show up, Jane starts telling her friends about finding her bosses both dead. In the middle of the story, in walks Isaac Daniels. During a class break, Isaac questions if Jane is OK, since she is not paying attention to anything going on in class. She begins to tell him of her morning discovery, and he points out that this could be a good ministry experience for her; a family in the middle of a crisis. Two grown children suddenly without parents. Her next trip to the Crawford’s has her running into their son, Jake. There’s still no sign of their daughter, Phoebe. Jake invites her out to breakfast since there is no food in the house. Waiting for Jake to take care of business at corporate offices has Jane running into Marjory; sister-in-law of the deceased and apparently the one running the business now.
Realizing he doesn’t really care to take care of himself, Jake suggests that Jane be the live-in housekeeper. She politely declines. We next see her in class, agreeing to go for coffee with her instructor, Isaac Daniels. Strictly small talk, but Jane definitely has the feeling that there is more interest between them then just the class subject.
Heading home after coffee found Jane to be locked out of her apartment. Not sure if her roommate, Samantha, threw her out, she called her. There was a box on the steps with a few of Jane’s items, but not much. She shines a light on the mailbox and finds the note stating “Rent Overdue. Evicted.” She reaches Samantha, who tells her sorry but she used Jane’s rent money for other things, she was out of town, the landlord was going to sell Jane’s belongings to make up for the past due rent, and Jane was out of luck. With nowhere else to turn, Jane picked up her box of things, and headed to the Crawford’s. Jake wanted a live-in maid, right?
Finding an unused bedroom, Jane sent a quick text to Jake, saying she would see him in the morning, and did he want breakfast? It seemed the easiest way to let him know she was staying there. In the morning, Jake is under the impression that Jane took pity on him, and he lets her continue to think that. Marjory was also staying at the house, and was less than pleasant towards Jane, ordering her around and questioning her pay. Marjory has a meeting with 2 business men, and Jane overhears “murder”, and “Lawyers, and “motive.”
And it’s back to class for Jane, and an unexpected call afterword from Isaac, and a dinner date made for Saturday. Her excitement of the phone call was still present as she went to a missions meeting at the school, hoping to sign up with a missionary group to go overseas. Disappointment soon followed when Jane was told that she probably wasn’t suited for the group she had been thinking about for the past year. Isaac talked to her about shorter mission trips, stating that maybe he didn’t want her to go permanently overseas, and did she have a problem with that? (Nope, she sure didn’t).
Hearing on the news about a group picketing the Roly Burger Chain because they caused obesity, Jane soon found out that Jake owned the restaurant they were picketing. She was shocked, he was angry, and demanding his maintenance person find a way to get them off his property.
Jane kept adding people to her list of possible suspects that could have killed the Crawford’s. Marjory, Phoebe, Jake, someone in the group of picketers? She had plenty of options, but no real motives.