Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643850061, $26.99, HC, 313pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Nina Fleet's life ought to be as sweet as a Georgia peach. Awarded a tidy sum in her divorce, Nina retired at 41 to a historic Queen Anne house in quaint Cymbeline, GA. But Nina's barely settled into her new B&B-to-be when a penguin shows up on her porch. Or, at least, a man wearing a penguin suit.
Harry Westcott is making ends meet as an ice cream shop's mascot and has a letter from his great-aunt, pledging to leave him the house. Too bad that's not what her will says. Meanwhile, the Sisters of Perpetual Poverty have lost their lease. Real estate developer Gregory Bainbridge intends to turn the convent into a golfing community, so Cymbeline's mayor persuades Nina to take in the elderly nuns. And then Nina finds the "penguin" again, this time lying in an alley with a kitchen knife in his chest.
A peek under the beak tells Nina it's not Harry inside the costume, but Bainbridge. What was he doing in Harry's penguin suit? Was the developer really the intended victim, or did the culprit mean to kill Harry? Whoever is out to stop Harry from contesting the sale of his great-aunt's house may also be after Nina, so she teams up with him to cage the killer before someone clips her wings in Peach Clobbered.
Critique: A superbly crafted and wonderfully entertaining mystery that is a truly compulsive page-turner of a read from cover to cover, "Peach Clobbered" by Anna Gerard is unreserved recommended for both dedicated mystery buffs and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Peach Clobbered" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781974975945, Dreamscape Media, $29.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Anna Gerard is an experienced author who specializes in cozy mysteries with a southern twist. A Native Texan, she received a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. The president of the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America, she enjoys reading, landscaping, and selling vintage goods on Etsy. She currently resides in the boonies of Florida.