Friday, July 07, 2006

"A Dime A Dozen" by Mindy Starns Clark

As I sit here and reflect on this book, I'm amazed that Ms. Clark can tie together so many story lines in one book, and still have the finished product be so well put together, and really, an all-around inspiring read. The problem with most mysteries, I feel, is either the plot lines are nothing new and interesting, or they have so much blood and gore that you get either lost by the end of the book, or you become disgusted. Neither is the case with Ms. Clark's book. While it is number 3 in a series of 5 books, the pre-existing relationships are well explained, so this book can be read as a stand-alone, as I did.

Callie Webber is an investigator for J.O.S.H.U.A. foundation, which supplies grants to non-profit start-ups. In this novel, her assignment is to return to her hometown and review her former in-laws company, M.O.R.E. Callie is a bit nervous about this, as she hasn't returned to her hometown for several years, evr since her husband was killed in a tragic accident. While she has grieved and begun loving again, she's a bit hesitant to return and see her in'laws, as well as the canbin where she spent so much time with her husband. Happily, when she arrives she is instantly comforted, as she sees that the cabin she spent so many happy moments at has been completely redocarated by the leasing agency, so she relaxes right away.

Callie goes to begin investigating M.O.R.E., and in quickly immersed in many mysteries. Why is migrant worker Luisa the target of so many crimes? Stink bombs, a murder, attempted burning of her home, and many other tragedies are befalling this poor woman. Also, there is the puzzling question - what happened to Luisa's husband? He was a fine, hard worker who loved his family. Now, a letter has arrived from New York, supposedly from him, saying he was there. Why on earth would a settled family man up and leave? Luisa suspects foul play, and soon, Callie also does. Many more smaller mysteries are intertwined throughout this book, but, at the end, I came away feeling that all my questions were answered, and Ms. Clark successfully tied up all the loose ends throughout the book. I would recommend this book if you love a good mystery, and are fed up with the gore found throughout so many of today's books.

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