|Tickled to Death (1994) [Novel]|
by Joan Hess
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Series: Claire Malloy
The book business is in a slump in Farberville, and Claire Malloy, owner of The Book Depot, is feeling the pinch of financial woes and the pull of summer doldrums. The plucky amateur sleuth thinks her life is for the birds until a mysterious new predicament sends her to a posh lakefront community near a bird sanctuary. The problem: her friend Luanne is having an affair with a man she wants to believe is the perfect lover - except that he just may have murdered both his previous wives. Despite her friend's gushing description, Claire thinks "perfect lover" is pushing it. Dick Cissel is a dentist, not a Don Juan. He has some charm, but it gets dimmed by his sulky daughter and the suspicions of a surly police chief. Captain Gannett is determined to prove Dick drowned his first wife and killed his beautiful second wife in a boat explosion. Now Luanne wants Claire to establish conclusively that Dick is no Bluebeard and, therefore, prime matrimonial material. Setting aside her money worries for the time being, Claire plunges into an investigation that she hopes will lead to some vital clues that can document Dick's innocence. But she is getting into dangerously over-her-head hot water with some of the dirt she unearths about the surprisingly unsaintly dead wives, the beady-eyed, bird-watching neighbors, and a disturbingly sexy bird doctor. And even when Claire's aviary excursion takes the lid off a nest of greed, passion, and oh-so-clever murder, there still remains one very menacing question for this intrepid sleuth who's coming too close for a killer's comfort: If Dick didn't murder his wives, who did?
Original title: Tickled to Death
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives