The cover blurb uses words like "hilarious" and "in the spirit of Carl Hiaasen", but I didn't think these applied to this book. The story is somewhat dark, not cozy, and with very little humor. Hiaasen's books are a bit weird and quirky. This is about a woman who has lost everyone she ever loved, beginning with her parents as a child, and is a recovering alcoholic. One day she receives a letter from her mother, presumed dead for 35 years. Yup, a real knee slapper.
It was emotional and mysterious, even frightening. I enjoyed the characters and will read another.
A unique mystery series.. youu'll love sarah shankman
Sam gets a letter from her mother, who was presumed to have died in a plane crash when Sam was eight, asking for her help. With enough information to sound authentic, the letter prompts Sam to leave New Orleans for Santa Fe immediately. Sam and her mother have a brief reunion, but before explanations are offered, the older woman dies, an apparent suicide. Desperate to understand her mother's past, Sam probes her life in Santa Fe and meets her tenant (an artist who paints cars), her lawyer and other denizens of the desert who fill in some of the blanks for the grieving daughter. What Sam learns makes her doubt the police verdict of suicide. Fleshing out the narrative, Shankman tacks on a subplot about a local televangelist and his wife. The story of Sam's mother exerts an emotional pull?but on easily plucked heartstrings, which, added to an unconvincing villain, diminishes this tale's overall impact
From the book-back: "My dearest Sugar. I must see you. It's urgent. I need your help. The letter that arrived from Sam's mother was postmarked Santa Fe, penned in her mother's handwriting, and disclosed details only johanna Adams could know. There was jsut one catch: Johanna Adams had been dead for thirty-four years.
Author Sarah Shankman delivers nonstop action with a hilarious bite. Now she sends her heroine, Samantha Adams to Santa Fe to unearth a secret past that was supposed to be six feet under.