cover image Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves

Taylor McCafferty. Pocket Books, $4.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-72802-1

Private investigator Haskell Blevins puts up his shingle in Pigeon Fork, Ky. But there's not much business for the sleuth in his sleepy hometown--until local beauty Cordelia Turley hires him to solve a case that baffles the police. Her grandmother has been murdered, along with Grammy's pet cat and parakeet. The chase is then afoot, although Haskell pursues his quarry more with words than deeds. His wisecracks and inner monologues are breezy, engaging and, frequently, downright funny. Haskell g interviews a flurry of suspects: Cordelia's mousy sister Eunice and her brutish husband Joe Eddy; Delbert, Joe Eddy's sidekick and the town drunk; and lovable Grampap Turley, henpecked even from the beyond. All of this may be enough to keep readers from noticing, or caring, that there is little supporting action. To be sure, there are blips on the screen: Emmaline, Pigeon Fork's ``cat lady,'' finds one of her pets poisoned; an unsuccessful attempt is made to do away with Haskell's dog, and the tires on his truck are slashed. But it is not until the last few pages that the plot switches into high gear and first novelist McCafferty serves up a satisfyingly twisty solution to murder. (Oct.)