North of Clever
Looking for a few hours of lighthearted reading? You can’t do better than this one. Clearly I’ve been missing out, since this is the third book in this author’s series involving Hannah Garvey. The book starts out right where South of Sanity left off, which was somewhat disorienting for me because I had not read it. Not only did I catch up pretty quickly, by the time I finished the book I was determined to read the first two in the series!
Hannah and her boyfriend, Sheriff David Hendrickson, have stumbled directly into a mystery involving Hannah’s own would-be family. A man she has never met before, circus magician Reilly Boone, claims to be Hannah’s father. Since Hannah’s mother never told her who her father was, it’s possible that Reilly is telling the truth. Before she knows for sure, though, she has to deal with Reilly’s being arrested in the killing of his much younger, pretty magician wife who dies during one of her illusions when a fake bullet turns real. Though Reilly’s earlier wives also died suspicious deaths, Hannah isn’t convinced he’s guilty and does some sleuthing of her own. Things are most definitely not what they seem at the circus.
David is thrust into the unenviable position of arresting the man who may be Hannah’s father, and he is concerned about Hannah being taken in by Reilly and his shady past. David also has his own problems with the upcoming election for sheriff; his good old boy opponent is constantly sticking it to David while offering pie-in-the-sky to the citizens of Sanity, Missouri.
Hannah is assisted by her own crew of “gumshoes,” members of the retirement community that she manages. They are an eclectic bunch, to say the least. They are determined to help Hannah and have some interesting antics up their collective sleeve.
The humor in this story was great. Hannah’s interaction with her not-so-bright dog started off the book and I spent the rest of the book smiling. Hannah and David are a fun couple and I won’t spoil the “do they or don’t they” mystery. Delbert and the gang of gumshoes are some of the most interesting senior citizens I’ve come across, although they are around my parents’ age and I had a hard time picturing my parents in their position. I look forward to her next release, West of Bliss, due out in July 2002. Yey!