This is the 3rd in a series and they get better all the time. The story is told from the point of view of the amateur detective - a librarian at a college - Univ. of New Mexico, and they are all connected to books or a particular book. As an avid reader, I enjoy learning about collectible books, and as in the process of her investigation, Claire has to travel about the southwest, I also enjoy reading about a part of the country I've only seen briefly. Except for the original crime, there is never a lot of violence and the protagonist is never in serious danger. It's not chick lit, but a good story of the investigation of a crime that affects Claire in some way - a traditional mystery - my favorite form of mystery fiction.
When Claire Reynier becomes the victim of credit card fraud, she's stunned to discover that Evelyn Martin, an old college friend and sorority sister, is the culprit. She's even more shocked when Evelyn turns up dead. According to the police, Evelyn also swindled three other former classmates, but Claire is the only one without an alibi for the time of Evelyn's murder. And the only one with an extra motive: Evelyn stole her rare signed first edition of Herman Melville's The Confidence Man, which is still missing. Now, dodging danger at every turn, Claire must sift through past grudges and long-buried resentments to uncover the truth -- and clear her name....
This is the third book in the Claire Reynier series by Judith Van Gieson and if it weren't for the fact that I chose these books to complete a challenge, I would not continue with the series. While the writing, setting, and subject matter (typically books) are all solid, the books are flat out boring. Claire, the main character, is beige, her home is beige, her choice of food is beige, her life is beige. Nothing ever happens.
This book revolves around the murder of a sorority sister of Claire's. Although Claire is embarrassed that she was ever in a sorority thirty plus years ago and she hasn't kept in touch with anyone, she allows one of her "sisters" to visit out of the blue and stay in her home. Surprise, surprise! The house guest steals a valuable book, among other things, and then winds up dead a year later with Claire's possessions scattered about making Claire the prime suspect. Oy. There is very little character development, dialogue is stilted and the plot in implausible at best. Nothing spectacularly horrible about the book but nothing exciting either. I gave it 2.5 stars because while I didn't really like it, I didn't hate it.