Borrowing Death

Cathy Pegau. Kensington, $15 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0056-8
Set in Cordova, Alaska Territory, in November, 1919, Pegau’s entertaining follow-up to 2015’s Murder on the Last Frontier focuses on arson. When the body of Lyle Fiske is found in his hardware store after a fire, journalist and suffrage supporter Charlotte Brody and Deputy Marshal James Eddington both assume the fire is the work of an arsonist who has been operating in the area for a few years. However, Charlotte’s coroner brother, Michael, reveals that Lyle died from a stab wound, and the arsonist’s previous fires have not harmed people. Charlotte begins to look at the open marriage of Lyle and his wife, Caroline; Lyle’s business practices; and the shady activities of Caroline’s lover. Though readers may wish for more journalistic fact-finding by Charlotte instead of accidental stumbling over information, the reporter’s penchant for encouraging the aspirations of a local girl, hanging out with the town madam, snooping in neighbors’ houses, and employing hairpins as lock picks will satisfy. Agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/09/2016
Release date: 06/28/2016
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