cover image Dressed to Kill

Dressed to Kill

Kathleen Delaney. Severn, $28.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8894-5

At the start of Delaney’s pleasing fourth mystery featuring retired Santa Louisa, Calif., school teacher Mary McGill (after 2017’s Blood Red, White and Blue), Mary, chairperson of the town’s annual Halloween event, is busy sorting out preparations for the children’s play area when she sees her nephew-in-law, police chief Dan Dunham, heading into the bank followed by a person dressed as a clown. She doesn’t have long to ponder this strange sight before hearing gunshots come from inside the bank. The clown races out and makes his getaway after wounding Dan and killing a woman. With Dan out of commission, Det. Sean Ryan, from San Louis Obispo’s homicide department, steps in to handle the murder case. Mary soon decides that Sean’s an arrogant bully who knows nothing about Santa Louisa’s social dynamics. She rounds up her friends and her faithful, if cowardly, cocker spaniel, Millie, and sets off to investigate. Readers should be prepared for a lot of talk about dog care. This cozy is simple, relaxing fun for anyone, particularly those who prefer the company of dogs to that of people. Agent: Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary. (Nov.)