TRUST ME, I’M DEAD
Mystery/romance 80,000 words
Judi Westerholme has worked hard at being a cantankerous loner in a small country town. When her brother, a long-time drug addict, is murdered, she figures she’ll ID Andy’s body, bury him and come home. Let the city cops catch whoever killed him.
But she discovers Andy’s been living a whole different life, with a job, a wife and kid, and an expensive house in the suburbs. The wife has gone missing and the kid becomes Judi’s unwanted responsibility.
Since she hasn’t seen Andy for more than three years, there are a lot of questions she can’t answer. The homicide detective, a good-looking young hotshot, seems more interested in her than why Andy was murdered.
All Judi wants is to get the funeral over with and return to her tidy hermit existence. Stories of mafia barons and underworld wars sound ludicrous, until someone invades Andy’s house and tries to kill her. Suddenly, to keep herself and the kid alive, Judi has to find out who Andy’s money really belongs to. Strange clues start turning up - clues that could only have come from Andy. The one person who can help is Hotshot, if she can keep him out of her bed long enough to focus on the case.
This isn't as polished up as I'd like it to be but I like the verve and the energy and the story line. There's not much in the way of plot.
Of course, with a cozy, I'd look for a character who can carry a series and much as Miss Snark loves cantankerous loners, that doesn't bode well for series.