Cat’s Claw -Susan Wittig Albert

Cat’s Claw

Susan Wittig Albert

Berkley, Mar 6 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9780425245279

 

Recently married to former Adams County sheriff Blackie Blackwell, Pecan Springs, Texas Police Chief Sheila Dawson initially assumes computer expert Larry Kirk committed suicide; most likely caused by his recent divorce.  Being a good female cop in a testosterone department that acts catty towards her, Sheila analyzes the crime scene and soon concludes a homicide occurred.  Her friend, herbalist entrepreneur China Bayles informs the chief that Larry recently asked her, as a former attorney, for legal advice as he claimed he was being stalked.

 

Sheila arrests George Timms for breaking and entering Kirk’s computer store.  He insists he was only taking back his computer, which contains personal information that he does not want leaked.  Some Town Council members attack her competency, but though aware of their pettiness, she continues her investigation as she thinks Timms’ B&E is related directly to the murder.  Adding to the mess is Timms fails to turn himself in; instead he has vanished.  

 

The key to this super Pecan Springs Mystery (see Mourning Gloria) is that Dawson is the chief protagonist while Bayles plays a support role.  This brings freshness as the police chief knows that no matter how well she has performed, she can never coast on her laurels as her constant male critics require her to prove herself over and over again.  The investigation is superb as Dawson shows she can handle the lead spotlight.

 

Harriet Klausner

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