Saturday, February 27, 2010
Boy, it was painful to read about Stephanie's life cut short in a quick matter of moments.. Before too long I had to stick close to Claire because she really got herself in dangerous situations trying to solve the whole messy, bloody situation. While sleuthing, Claire seemed to always overhear what she was not meant to hear. At least, she seemed able to work well with Owen the sheriff. She didn't get in his way too much. Secondly, she would report to him what she had discovered to help the investigation come to a quick close.
This is one reason I liked TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET. It was really different reading about an amateur sleuth who does not bark at or get smart with the police and detectives constantly to make a point. Claire knows how to dig around for the truth in a smooth, polite way. However, Claire can melt when it comes to sudden and bloody deaths, but she holds her own. I like her strong spirit. Don't cave until you've gotten the truth.
She also knows how to keep her man happy. I loved it when Roger and she would steal a romantic moment. I also like Claire, the heroine, because she's a tiger when it comes to protecting her daughter, Judy. Come Russian mobs or guns and rifles Claire is going to save her daughter from becoming a victim of crime. She does become rather snippy with Owen, the sheriff at times. She does not bite her tongue when it comes to telling him she is not going to wait around for the phone to ring or twiddle her thumbs when her daughter is in danger. Claire wants all hands on deck including her hands. Her number one desire is to protect her daughter. Claire's a true blue, Annie Oakley mom.
Even when it comes to riding a snow mobile to find Judy Claire rides one. Really, this is a fantastically brave move because Claire has a phobia of riding snow mobiles. Her friend's son died riding one of those "dangerous machines." This must have happened in the first Claire Hanover cozy. I am definitely going back to read the first book. A few juicy tidbits are dropped in this second book about the first book.
I also enjoyed this cozy because of the craft theme in the background. At times I wanted to stop reading, go to the craft store and pick up pretty colored items like stationery and pens, a little raffia, a little leather to make up a basket for a friend. She makes one basket almost too huge for Roger to carry to the person.
I thought Leon, the gangster, was a hoot along with his driver and bodyguard. Claire proved she was an all around person when she spent time teaching Leon to ski in order to get more information about the killer or killers of a few people in the community.
TO HELL in a HANDBASKET is the best Cozy-Mystery I have read this year. "It is so totally all that" as young people would say.