In this installment of the Francesca Cahill series, we find our intrepid amateur sleuth investigating a murder that strikes very close to home. Daisy Jones, is found stabbed to death.
Not only is Francesca well-acquainted with the victim, but she is also extremely close to the prime suspect in the case - Calder Hart, her fiancé, who was Daisy’s former lover. His involvement with Daisy moves him to the top of the list, especially since he has no iron-clad alibi for the time of death. In addition, a number of startling revelations prove that Calder has been keeping secrets from Francesca.
Deadly Kisses moves along quite quickly. Readers who are following the series have a vested interest in the characters, and need no encouragement. Author Brenda Joyce delves deeper into Calder’s inner character, which is a bonus for fans. He has come a long way from the man we met in the first book. Francesca has also matured in her confidence and self-awareness.
The book also features vignettes from several other sub-plots, primarily the marriage of Rick and Leigh Anne Bragg, and the friendship of Evan Cahill and Maggie Kennedy.
At the end of the novel, Ms. Joyce tells readers that she is setting this series aside for a spell while she concentrates on another series of historical novels. While I appreciate her candor, I cannot help but be disappointed with her decision. The book ends at a pivotal point and, in my opinion, the series could have been concluded quite well with one more novel. I will be eagerly awaiting her return to turn-of-the-century New York City.