Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hurricane Homicide - Nora Charles

Hurricane Homicide
A Kate Kennedy, Senior Sleuth Mystery
Nora Charles
Berkley Prime Crime


Kate Kennedy has happily settled into her fulltime home in Palmetto Beach, Florida in the Ocean Vista Leisure Adult Condos. The weather is usually good, the neighbors are usually entertaining, and every once in a while, there’s a mystery that needs solving. The current mystery, being idly considered by Kate and her friend Rosie O’Grady, a retired Rockette, is the contrast between Uncle Weatherwise, the weatherman on TV, and Walt Weatherwise, the newest addition to the condos. Onscreen, he has fans; living in the same building, it’s not quite the same.

It’s perhaps unfair but true that people tend to blame the weatherman when bad weather strikes. This time, though, Uncle Weatherwise promised faithfully that the approaching hurricane would miss Palmetto Beach. A last-minute evacuation in the face of said hurricane proved him wrong. Returning to the condos, Kate discovers Uncle Weatherwise’s body. Obviously, there was someone else who disliked him. True to form, Kate takes on the case and finds herself investigating events of the past.

Kate is a fun character. She’s a senior citizen, but that seniority manifests not as fussiness, but as experience. She’s usually able to see to the heart of things. I have the feeling that if Jessica Fletcher retired to Florida, this is exactly how she’d occupy her time. The various residents of the condos are a bit eccentric, but in a very believable way. The murder mystery is very much in the cozy tradition. There’s nothing overtly violent or gruesome. The author manages to pack a few nifty twists into the story; more than enough to keep readers guessing.

Rating: 7
December 2006
ISBN# 0-425-21312-9 (paperback)


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