cover image A Chill Rain in January

A Chill Rain in January

Laurali Wright, L. R. Wright. Viking Books, $17.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-670-83129-6

Sechelt, a village on the British Columbia Sunshine Coast, is the locale of the successor to Wright's Edgar-winning The Suspect . Among the memorable characters from the first novel--RCMP Sgt. Karl Alberg and friends--is beautiful, aloof Zoe Strahan, a new resident. Alberg and the members of the community are, however, more concerned about elderly Ramona Orlitzki, who has disappeared from the nursing home. During the search, Zoe's brother arrives at her house with blackmail in mind and she kills him. As the reader knows, Zoe has been getting away with murder for years and seems about to persuade Alberg that her brother died in a fall down her cellar steps. But Ramona is hiding in a guest house on Zoe's land, where the killer's young nephew finds a refuge with the failing but tough-minded old woman. While Zoe uses her wiles on the sergeant, she plans a feral attack on the defenseless pair. The story is rich in humorous and poignant aspects as well as fierce suspense. (Mar.)