Friday, February 9, 2007

"High Rhymes and Misdemeanors" by Diana Killian

Ah, a good old fashioned mystery! No vamps, no were-things, no witches, just a bit of a bumbling English teacher who gets involved in a mystery when she finds a man drowning in a stream.

Grace Hollister is on holiday in England's Lake District when she decides to take a walk in the woods by her inn. She stumbles across the body of Peter Fox, another hotel guest, and immediately realizes that he is near death, having been hit on the head and left in the stream to drown, hopefully to look like an accidental death. She rescues him, of course, and thus the mystery begins. Who hit him? Why doesn't he want to go to the police? Who are the men that run her off the road the next day wanting to know where the "geegaws" are? How has her life been turned upside-down by such a simple event?

Peter has a bit of a past, a bit of an understatement. He's left his thieving ways behind him and gone straight as an antiques dealer. Or has he? Grace isn't entirely sure she can trust him, but the bad men certainly think she's working with him, so work with him she must. She's supposed to be enjoying her holiday, not running for her life! And Peter is awfully cute in that oh so British sort of way.....................

This is the first of the Grace Hollister mysteries by Killian. It's cute, an easy read, and I rather liked Grace, even if she does jump to conclusions too often. For example, one of the possible suspects is described as wearing a turban, which she immediately associates with "terrorist". Cut to an Indiana restaurant, whose owner wears a turban, and Grace is assuming that he is the bad guy! Peter is sufficiently mysterious, but you get the feeling early on that he's not a bad guy. The romantic play between the two lead characters is cute, and doesn't detract from the plot. And it's just as old-fashioned as the mystery itself - I think they might kiss by the end of the book. A nice change from some of the other titles I've been reading lately where the romantic interests are falling into bed within the first few chapters!

Stay tuned for a review of the 2nd Grace book!

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