PAULA BOYD

HOT ENOUGH TO KILL

Jolene Jackson Mystery Series

DIOMO Books
1999
Jolene Jackson is on a strange errand in her hometown of Kickapoo, Texas, where her 72-year-old mother has been detained by police relative to the death by unnatural causes of her boyfriend, the town’s Mayor. Mom is not giving up much in the way of information to help herself and claims loss of the deceased doesn’t bother her. Jolene steps in to attempt to find out the truth, fortunate because her job as a freelance journalist gives her the flexibility to stay awhile.

During her long absence from Kickapoo, during which she raised a family in Colorado, Jolene has missed a lot. While she tries to get caught up with the goings on and find out who the real murderer is, she’s tempted to renew a relationship with a high school sweetheart. and keeps ending up too close to people who are being shot at. This makes her question whether she’s the killer’s next target and, if so, why. Her abrasive style doesn’t sit well with the town’s residents, and each bit of information she gets as she tries to help her mother out is the result of a hard-won battle. To complicate everything, she’s befuddled by the Texas heat and lack of sleep.

All of the action is narrated in a voice appropriate to the book’s 43-year-old protagonist, who is also endowed with a wry sense of humor and a somewhat sardonic mother, which provides for good dialogue. There was plenty of real Texas flavor (I lived in San Antonio for a little over a year, so I guess I can say that!) and a cast of quirky supporting characters that keep the reader guessing until the end. This is a very good first book, soon to be followed by “Dead Man Falls.” You can read the first chapter of both books at the author’s site at http://www.paulaboyd.com

This book is also available at Amazon.co.uk

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