cover image Tangled Roots

Tangled Roots

Taffy Cannon, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7867-0137-7

California trial attorney Nan Robinson, introduced to acclaim in A Pocketful of Karma, shines somewhat less brightly in this follow up, which takes her out of L.A. and into San Diego County to try to clear her brother-in-law of murder charges. Nan's pregnant sister Julie calls for help when her husband, Adam, is arrested for the murder of his childhood friend and fellow commercial flower grower, Shane Pettigrew. The evidence against Adam is strong: found at the crime scene are his gun and a wrapper from his favorite, and unusual, chewing gum. Nan learns Adam had received an anonymous note the week before, telling him about Julie's affair with Shane during the previous year. Although Nan unearths other suspects in the victim's ex-wife and her brother, the motive for the cleverly executed crime is stubbornly rooted deeper in the past. Worrying also about complications in Julie's pregnancy, Nan almost becomes the murderer's fifth victim before Cannon ties up the loose ends of a tale mainly brightened by descriptions of the Southern California flower industry. (Feb.)