cover image Fool and His Honey

Fool and His Honey

Charlaine Harris, Harris. Minotaur Books, $22.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-312-20306-1

This latest in the Aurora ""Roe"" Teagarden series (Dead Over Heels, etc.) features the sleuthing Southern librarian in a gripping tale that explores the lengths to which people will go to obtain what they desire. Roe and her new husband, Martin, receive a surprise when Martin's niece Regina arrives on their doorstep with the new baby no one knew she was expecting. Several hours later, after a dinner party, Roe and Martin return home to discover Regina's husband, Craig, murdered in their yard, Regina missing and baby Hayden hidden under a bed. Roe, unable to have children, finds herself burdened with Hayden's care as she and Martin attempt to track down Regina after coming across a wad of money in the diaper bag. Along for the ride is Rory Brown, a friend of Craig and Regina's who is suspiciously interested in Hayden. Harris's story is fast paced and peopled with tragically frustrated characters. Roe, who understands the length to which people might go to have children of their own, is horrified at what she discovers. When Martin, Roe and Hayden arrive at Martin's little-used country house, several other characters, including neighbors Margaret and Luke Granberry, enter the tale. A murder occurs, with tragic consequences for Regina. While all the loose ends are tied up, the heartbreaking solution provides comfort for no one. Harris mixes elements of a cozy and her darker themes with skill and panache. (Sept.)