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Not in My Backyard

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsThree and one half moons iconAvon Twilight (Paperback), ISBN 0-380-80532-4
Take one pushy, mouthy, overweight, bleeding-heart liberal, romance writer who delves in murder as a sideline, move a pedophile into the neighborhood, then add upset, demonstrating parents and shake well. What do you have? A dead man with a pumpkin over his head -- not the greatest in Halloween decorations. A new mystery for P. J. Pugh to solve -- but only after she irritates and antagonizes the neighbors, bullies, bosses, and generally makes a total pest of herself. (P. J. acts rather like a less well-mannered, more harried and younger J. B. Fletcher with attitude). 

Book: Susan Rogers Cooper, Not In My BackyardAll I can say is that thanks to Not In My Backyard -- the sixth novel starring P. J. and the first I've read -- I'm going to have to find the others. I enjoyed this one so much that I need to arrange some repeat meetings with the redoubtable P. J. I laughed in a few places, recognized Cooper's homage to a few familiar writers in another place or two, and really wondered how the author was going to solve the crime. And I read it in one sitting (if a sitting can include reading while cooking, eating, and various other household chores). 

The fast-paced, first person narrative races along so quickly that a few times I had trouble catching my breath. The intricately woven, unpredictable plot pulls in diverse and unrelated elements to make a seamless whole, including P. J.'s possible pregnancy.  

Book: Susan Rogers Cooper,  A Crooked Little HouseA complex and engaging character, P. J. revels in her foibles (like her hidden stash of chocolate), enjoys a husband she loves, threatens her three non-angelic children with dire consequences. P. J. also whines about a romance novel that needs her creativity. She will finish the book -- as soon as she catches the murderer. If he/she doesn't catch P. J. first. 

Would I recommend this to my best friend? Yes, indeed, and to all my other friends. It may not be a great book, but Not In My Backyard is a great and entertaining read. 

Patricia White 

Patricia White is the Sapphire Award-winning author of A Wizard Scorned. Her current book, the contemporary PS, I've Taken a Lover, is available from Lionhearted Books.

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