Created by Dorothy Francis
KATIE HASSWORTH became a private eye in a rather peculiar way. Originally a Key West schoolteacher, she resigned after a classroom shooting, in which she was wounded a few years ago. It seems a student went nuts and shot her, another student, and finally himself. She teamed up with Mac McCartel, the shooter's P.I.father, to find the son's drug supplier, whom he blamed for the incident. They tracked the dealer down, and the team-up worked. Now she and Mac run a detective agency together.
In Conch Shell Murder, Katie's recorded debut, she's hired to investigate the murder of a prominent (and controversial) entrepreneur who was beaten to death with a conch shell. With Mac away on another case, Katie nervously flies solo for the first time, while trying to deal with the amorous attentions of Rex Layton, the town's tanned and handsome hunk of a mayor, who may also be a suspect.
Not exactly what you'd call hard-boiled, but this cozy romance's sharp local colour and lore go a long way towards making this an enjoyable read. And by all accounts, it's fun watching the affable rookie go through the paces of her first big case.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.