cover image Candy Apple Red

Candy Apple Red

Nancy Bush, . . Kensington, $19.95 (310pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-0905-4

Funny sex scenes, good drinks and a likable dog lift Bush's first Jane Kelly mystery. Tired of her job as a process server, 30-year-old Jane, who followed boyfriend Tim Murphy from Los Angeles to rural Lake Chinook, Ore., only to be dumped by him, agrees to work for Dwayne Durbin, a successful "information specialist" (or private investigator), who's "cute in that kind of slow-talkin' cowboy way." Jane's first case happens to concern Tim's best friend from high school, Bobby Reynolds, who killed his whole family and disappeared four years earlier, though Tim always believed Bobby was innocent. Bobby's mother, Tess, hires Jane to see if her ex-husband, Cotton, and his trophy wife have seen Bobby. Complications arise when Tim returns for a benefit at Cotton's island compound to which Jane is also invited—and Bobby's body surfaces in the lake. Romance readers will especially enjoy the heartsick heroine's search for true love. (Oct.)