by Charlotte Douglas

September 2005
ISBN: 0-373-23039-7
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Mass Market Paperback

Maggie Skerritt is a Detective for the Pelican Bay police department. She is one of two women employed by the department, and the only one who is a detective. In fact she is the department’s only detective.

Maggie was brought up to be a socialite, and was preparing to lead a life very similar to that which her mother and sister lead. Her life took an abrupt change when her fiancée was shot to death at close range. His untimely death influenced her decision to be a police officer, and to stick it out regardless of the difficulties of the job.

Pelican Bay is a nice quiet town. When the first in a string of homicides hits Maggie is not only under pressure to quickly solve the crime so that the residents may rest peacefully, but also to show the city leaders what a great job the department does. The speed with which she solves the case could very well save the department from becoming a victim of the budget ax.

Maggie asks for help and is given a young officer named Alder to assist her. Alder is a capable officer, but two officers can not gather clues, and keep tabs on a list of suspects the way a team of people can. Maggie is not without her resources, and doesn’t hesitate to use them when needed.

One of the resources is a former partner, Bill Malcolm. Bill is now retired, and living his life on a boat. Maggie and he are close friends, and he has no problem helping her in an unofficial capacity. The relationship between Bill and Maggie could be romantic, but Maggie is wary and strives to keep things as platonic as possible between them.

Charlotte Douglas has written a mystery that will stimulate readers. Readers will be turning pages trying to decide who among the cast of characters will be the next to die, and who among that same cast of characters is desperate enough to lower themselves to murder.

Pelican Bay is a beautiful town full of wonderful characters. I am curious as to whether or not Ms. Douglas’ next release will feature of the residents to whom we have already been introduced.

Reviewed in September 2005 by Sandi.

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