Police Chief Sheila Dawson believes the death of Pecan Spring's computer guru, Larry Kirk, to be a suicide, perhaps triggered by his painful divorce. Further investigation reveals that Kirk's death wasn't self-inflicted. And the truth is reinforced by her friend China Bayles' news-Larry recently asked her for legal advice in regards to a stalker.
As a police chief in a male-dominated force, Sheila meets many challenges, especially when her theories rock the boat in high profile cases like that of George Timms. He was caught breaking into Larry's computer shop to steal his own computer back because of dangerous personal information it contained. Now that Larry is dead, she's sure it's connected to the burglary. And she's also sure she'll get plenty of resistance on her assessment...
Timms's time to turn himself in to the police comes and goes, and he's nowhere to be found. In her investigation, Sheila uncovers secrets, terrible secrets that would drive anyone to kill. So who then? It's up to Sheila to prove she's got what it takes to hunt down the predator that's loose on the streets of Pecan Springs...
Susan Wittig Albert is one of those authors that I make a point to read. I loved her historical mystery series that she co-wrote with her husband, the books were published under the name of Robin Paige. I adore her Beatrix Potter Cottage series. I know she has a new series, the Darling Dahlias, which I haven't had the pleasure to read, yet. But my favorite has always been her China Bayles series, set in the fictional town of Pecan Springs, TX. So let's just say I was a little surprised when I picked up the book at the library, it's says that it's a Pecan Springs Mystery. I'm not sure if it's a new series or just a series within a series, where the book is not necessarily focusing on China but someone else in her circle of friends. I admit I was a little hesitant with the small change in the dynamics of this series, but I kind of like the change. The chapters are in alternating narrators, there's the first person China, and Sheila's part of the story is written in the third person.
The rest is just as good as any other book of the series. The old characters are just as entertaining as ever, the newer ones just as good as I would expect. The murder and missing person case was very well written and intertwined very well together, although there was a little twist within the crime story.
As usual I inhaled the book, it was quick read and but it was also a fast paced book. Not that complaining, ok, maybe just a bit. I will need a fix soon, which I will be looking forward to trying the Darling Dahlias series.
Cat's Claw by Susan Wittig Albert (4/5) Contemporary Mystery; Published: Berkley Prime Crime (3/2012); Series: # 20, China Bayles/Pecan Springs; New Release; Mystery Suspense Challenge 2012 (5); Library; Books 2012 (26);