Release date: 06/01/2004
Logue's latest in her appealing series featuring deputy sheriff Claire Watkins (Glare Ice , etc.) is set as usual in the small Wisconsin town of Fort St. Antoine. Someone has stolen deadly pesticides and is using them in a series of escalating crimes: first, a bed of flowers is wiped out, then a flock of chickens, and finally the lemonade at a Fourth of July celebration is contaminated. Claire soon links the poisonings to the 50-year-old unsolved slaughter of seven members of a local farm family, the Schulers. Each of the Schulers had a finger removed; now the dried bones of those fingers are showing up at the scenes of the recent crimes, and Claire is convinced that the 50-year anniversary of the killings will end in disaster if she can't find the person responsible. Her daughter, 11-year-old Meg, is sent safely out of town, but boyfriend Rich is still in the picture and bent on asking Claire to marry him. All these continuing characters are winning, and even the killer, once exposed, is sympathetic. Fine writing, a charming setting and an attractive and intelligent heroine add up to a satisfying and pleasurable read. Agent, Jane Chelius. (June 15)
Forecast : Booksellers should push this series—a step up from the average female-in-peril offering—to men as well as women.