I find prim, proper, and amazingly resourceful Helma Zukas impossible to resist. These books are difficult to find so if you'd like a change from hard-boiled heroines struggling with impossibly messy lives, "check out" Washington state librarian Miss Zukas soon.
Civic-minded librarian Miss Helma Zukas has reluctantly agreed to use her long-dormant skills as a canoeist to paddle down Washington Bay on behalf of the Bellehaven Library relay race team. But before Helma has a chance to test her aquatic talents, she is once again matching wits with the local police over the identity of a killer. And this time it involves keeping her somewhat flaky artist friend, Ruth Winthrop, off Death Row.
Who would have imagined librarian Helma Zukas as a competitive canoer? She also exhibts another, better known, talent in this book -- for snooping and crime-fighting -- wen her best friend, Ruth, is accused of murder. 2006 reprint.
Thoroughly enjoyable. This is the third in the series and, although it took me a little reading to get into the first one, I'm glad I stuck with it. At first I found Miss Zukas to be annoying, but now appreciate the interplay and contrast between her and her best friend Ruth. The characters are well drawn, the setting is appealing, and I usually cannot guess "who done it" until the end of the book. A good cozy mystery, especially for library-aholics like me.
Patricia S. reviewed Miss Zukas and the Stroke of Death (Miss Zukas, Bk 3) on
Unlike her other enjoyable novels, in this book, Jo Dereske followed all 10 rules on how to write a terrible murder mystery:
1. Rely on cheap, overly used, extremely predictable plot "twists" - all of which the reader guess by page 40.
2. Make the murderer so obvious that the reader will know who it is by page 35 of a 210 page book.
3. Throw in a child born by given up to adoption - unknown to all the characters in the book but the reader picks up on the hints by page 20.
4. Use a fake "I'm dying...." emotional scene.
5. Have very inconsistant supporting characters.
6. Be sure to have an inconsistant and conflicting timeline.
7. Have the heroine do something bad, but not really - its OK since she was only acting out a memory.
8. Be sure to have the murderer plant the murder weapon where our heroine will find it, even though it makes neither sense nor does it seem possible much less plausible.
9. Be sure to have the murderer keep the murder weapon even after 6 weeks after the murder.
10. Have the policemen fall in love with our leading ladies.
I can not believe this tripe was written by the author who wrote Miss Zukas and the Library Murders. Tell me her 13 year old daughter wrote this book, and I would believe that!
So far I am loving the Miss Zukas books. The main character is so different. She's so particular, you'd think it would be off-putting but somehow she still comes across as likable, which makes her a very interesting character.
These books are set in my hometown. Even though all the names are changed, it has been so fun to recognize places while I am reading. This book in particular was fun because it focused around the Ski to Sea race, which is held every Memorial Day weekend here and draws professional athletes from all over the world!