Every time I read a mystery set in a small town, I feel so bad for that town. I know that murder is hard on a town no matter what, but it seems unusually harsh when it continues to happen in a small town like this one.
These kinds of settings always make me both sad and nervous, because it's dreadful when someone from within the town is targeting others who live there. Although we aren't really for sure in this story, the assumption is generally that the killer is from within Amaryllis. Which creates a bunch of problems because the local police department won't ask for help from the state police, and it can't be forced upon them because all the murders have taken place in the one town.
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Amaryllis, Texas, population 1700, has experienced the murders of six women in the past 3 years in what is being labeled "The Closet Killings". Each woman has been found in a bedroom closet, killed by one stab wound to her carotid artery, with a paring knife from her own kitchen. The women are of varying ages and race.
Cherrie Mae is the local cleaning woman. She cleans homes from all over the town, including the mayor's home. While cleaning the mayor's manor, she comes across something that is damning to the mayor and does not know what to do with the information.
Tully is pregnant with her husband's child and gets disturbing information about her husband and the latest of the murder victims. She has information that she doesn't know what to do with also.
Deena is the local hairdresser and is disturbed by her brothers' activities concerning the latest murder. Her brother is really not "all there" and is the target of many townfolks taunts and rude comments.
When Deena's brother is arrested for the latest murder, the three women are brought together with their own pieces of the puzzle that the police don't have.
Trent Williams is a reporter who has been covering the murders and has won a Pulitzer Prize in doing so. He and Deena are in contact, so the women have a little more information to try to solve the crimes.
This novel was a nice read. The chapters are written as if these women are speaking and I loved that you could actually hear them talking, right down to the southern dialect.
The ending is good. You are not made to believe in anyone's guilt until the very end. Easy to read and enjoy, a little murder mystery to put your crime-solving skills to the test.