Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Fool And His Honey - Charlaine Harris

A Fool And His Honey
An Aurora Teagarden Mystery
Charlaine Harris
Berkley Prime Crime


In this latest installment of the long-running series (see list below for previous titles) Aurora (Roe) Teagarden and her husband, Martin Bartell get a surprise visitor. Martin’s 22-year-old niece, Regina, arrives without warning, without her 18-year-old husband, and with an infant. The whole situation is just strange. No one in the family had any idea she was pregnant. She clearly intends to stay a while, so Martin and Roe install her and the baby in the apartment above the detached garage.

The presence of a baby in the house makes Roe’s biological clock tick ever louder, especially since she’s got fertility problems and an older husband who has already raised one family. Roe and Martin decide to attend a dinner party that evening, as planned. When they return home, Regina’s car is gone, but another car is in its place. Far worse, Regina’s husband is lying on the steps up to the garage apartment, dead. The baby is hidden under the bed. It’s not until the following morning that Roe and Martin discover another unexpected houseguest, hidden behind the couch.

Too much time is spent on the ins and outs of heating bottles, changing diapers, and setting up travel cribs. It’s very true, though, that the care of a baby is hugely time-consuming, and Roe’s conflicted feelings (wanting a baby of her own v. having one dumped in her care) are interesting. The search for Regina, Martin’s strangely distant behavior, and the truth about the baby make for an absorbing mystery. There’s a subplot involving ordinary people behaving in odd ways that is brought up, dropped for most of the book, then inadequately explained in a few paragraphs. It seems that many readers were outraged by the final events in this book, but I found them logical and realistic. This may mark a turn for the darker in this series; only time will tell.

Rating: 6 ½
February 2009 (reprint)
ISBN# 978-0-425-22639-1 (paperback)
The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries:


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