Cold Trail: A Jeri Howard Mystery

Janet Dawson. Perseverance (SCB, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-56474-555-2

In Dawson’s exciting 11th Jeri Howard mystery (after 2011’s Bit Player), the California PI is relieved to discover that a burned body—shot through the chest— is not that of her school teacher brother, Brian, who’s gone missing. Since Brian’s MedicAlert bracelet was found near the corpse on a burned boat in rural Sonoma County, the police suspect Brian is the killer. Brian’s wife only knows he was planning a solo weekend camping trip in Sonoma County. But there appear to be problems in their marriage. Was Brian a witness to murder, or is he running from a tough personal situation? It soon becomes clear that his life is in danger, but from whom? This may be the toughest case in Jeri’s career. Not only is it family, but she has no idea what she’s investigating. Dawson keeps the suspense high as Jeri seeks to find her brother before it’s too late. (Apr.)