by Lynn Bulock

May 2006
ISBN: 0-373-78563-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Steeple Hill
Trade Paperback

When Gracie Lee Harris’ bathroom is being remodeled, it makes life difficult, especially when sharing with her eighteen-year-old son, Ben. In desperation, one morning, Gracie Lee decides to use the port-a-potty in the driveway. However that is busy too, and the owner of the construction company, Frank Collins, is missing. After a couple trips in and out of her apartment hoping a bathroom will open up, Gracie Lee pounds on the port-a-potty door and is horrified when the door pops open and Frank’s body falls out in front of her. Someone had shot him in the head.

Frank had been less than honest in his business dealings, and now someone has made sure that he’s less than—well, less than alive. When the detective, Ray Fernandez, is called in to investigate, the first suspect on his list is Gracie Lee’s son, Ben, because a man matching his description was seen arguing with Frank earlier that morning.

Desperate to clear her son’s name, Gracie Lee starts investigating on her own. Detective Fernandez warns her to stay out of his investigation, but that isn’t how Gracie Lee is wired. And now, things are getting interesting . . . .

Less Than Frank is the second book in the Gracie Lee Mysteries series, and though it easily stands alone, readers will want to read the first book in the series, Love the Sinner, because Less Than Frank refers back to it several times. I loved revisiting with Gracie Lee and getting to know her son, Ben. Several other characters from her earlier book were also making appearances.

The faith message is expertly woven in and the characters are three-dimensional. I thoroughly love this series and hope to see more books by this talented author. Ms. Bulock combines mystery and humor to keep the pages turning.

Reviewed in June 2006 by Laura.

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