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Three and one half moon gifOvermountain Press (Trade Paper),
ISBN 1570721467

Lizzie Stuart could easily play the role model for young, African-American girls. A crime historian and college professor, Lizzie grew up and stayed in Drucilla, Ky., first raised by, then in turn, caring for her grandmother. Overall, Lizzie enjoys her successful life. But when her grandmother dies, Lizzie realizes that she needs a vacation away to refresh her Book: Frankie Y. Bailey, Death's Favorite Childoutlook. Lizzie accepts the invitation of a travel writer friend to vacation with her in Cornwall. But this vacation turns out to be much more than a quiet getaway when Lizzie stumbles across intrigue, becomes an eyewitness to murder, then may very well become the next victim.

A debut mystery, Death's Favorite Child introduces the almost-new talent of criminologist Frankie Bailey. Almost new, because although new to mystery fiction, Bailey authored the Edgar-nominated Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters in Crime and Detective Fiction and co-authored several other works of non-fiction. Death's Favorite Child marks Bailey's successful transition to the world of fiction.

Book: Frankie Y. Bailey, Out of the WoodpileDeath's Favorite Child qualifies as a very good read with intriguing characters and a lovely setting. In this combination of a traditional British cozy with a touch of American savvy, Bailey creates an eminently readable story with a likeable cast of characters that I look forward to seeing again.

Lizzie Stuart stands heads above many cozy characters as a competent professional woman, whose profession actually can help solve the crime. The secondary characters deserve equal praise, emerging from standard, cookie-cutter clichés often found when a mystery novel takes place in Great Britain. If you enjoy a well-crafted cozy with believable characters, get in line to read Death's Favorite Child. I'll be the one in the back, waiting for the next one book featuring Lizzie Stuart.

Maria Y. Lima

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