Abby Rose
Created by
Leann Sweeney

Despite all of the murders and the fact that she's a fully licensed, Houston-based private eye, the ABBY ROSE books are all “cozy” type mysteries.

In the first of the "Yellow Rose" series, Pick Your Poison (2004), we meet Abby and her twin sister Kate, a psychiatrist, who have just inherited their late father’s home and computer business. When Abby investigates the murder of their gardener, she learns some truths about their true birth parents.

A Wedding to Die For (2005) finds now-independently wealthy, Abby starting up her own P.I. business, Yellow Rose Investigations, intending to specialize in finding birth parents for adoptees. , With all that dough in the bank, she can easily afford to pick and choose her clients. She's helped out in that by Kate, who uses her psychiatric skills to do the psychological assessments on prospective clients.A bride-to-be hires Abby to find her biological mother so she can be at her wedding, but a murder occurs at the reception instead.

In Dead Giveaway (2005) Abby's client is a 19 year old basketball star looking for his birth family, after the woman who found him on her doorstep as an infant is murdered.

In Shoot from the Lip (2007) young Emmy Lopez, who’s been responsible for her three younger siblings ever since their mother died, is slotted to appear on a TV reality show when evidence surfaces that suggests the possibility of a fourth child Emmy never knew about. Emmy hires Abby to straighten things out.

Murders do eventually occur in Shoot from the Lip, the one book in the series I've read, but unfortunately the detection involved is slim to none. Not only are Abby and her well-off circle of family and friends relatively slow on the uptake when dangerous things begin to happen, but the killer makes the fatal flaw of simply hanging around too long. He or she is caught only by doing one evil deed after another, until eventually going too far, when at last the truth is revealed.

The story's told in a raw-boned but light-hearted Texas style, with lots of details of the two sisters’ various romances with their steady (and not so steady) boy friends, along with Abby’s continual references to her daddy, now gone but evidently far from forgotten.

Don’t get me wrong. For fans of low-keyed murder investigations, enhanced and enlivened by a crew of friendly folk who seem to come back book after book, they could do far worse than stay with Abby Rose, wherever her adventures may take her.


Adapted from a February 2007 entry in The Mystery*File by Steve Lewis. Used with permission.

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