Not quite up to Daheim's usual standards, the 17th in the author's Bed-and-Breakfast series (A Streetcar Named Expire; Creeps Suzette; etc.) finds amateur gumshoe Judith McMonigle Flynn sleuthing from her hospital bed, where she is recovering from hip surgery. Before entering the Good Cheer Hospital with her peppery cousin, Renie Jones, who is due to have surgery at the same time, the two women become very apprehensive on hearing of the mysterious deaths of two patients. When the man in the next room becomes the third victim, Judith and Renie begin to investigate. Life as patients grows even more complicated for the duo when a blizzard brings the town to a standstill; Judith hears that her b&b is crowded with stranded tourists and an escaped boa constrictor; strange packages arrive at her house; her private detective husband, Joe, accepts a dangerous case; her son Mike makes a request that causes much soul-searching; and the Good Cheer Hospital is threatened by a takeover. In spite of all this confusion, Judith discovers the identity of the murderer--but the revelation is no surprise to the reader. Even though loyal Daheim fans will relish the witty and revealing interactions between familiar characters, the final denouement of a complex murder scenario and the multitude of subplots depicted here are as tedious and wearing as the healing process after surgery. Agent, Maureen Moran. (Feb. 13) Forecast: A series that's run as long as this one isn't going to be hurt by one flat outing, but this entry won't win Daheim many new fans; nor will the book's cover--its depiction of someone in surgeon's clothing stitching a baseball seems likely to elicit shrugs from browsers.
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001 Release date: 02/01/2001
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