cover image Murder Among Neighbors

Murder Among Neighbors

Jonnie Jacobs. Zebra, $16.95 (299pp) ISBN 978-0-8217-4680-6

This entertaining debut introduces Kate Austen, a resilient young northern California mom. When her husband sets off to ``find himself'' in Europe, Kate is pregnant and jobless, and their daughter is only five. Then her next-door neighbor is murdered. Kate doubts that the killer was an intruder-nothing of value was stolen, and it wasn't like the orderly Pepper Livingston to have left a window open. Along with her acerbic best friend, Kate begins to look at her neighbors in a new light, especially Pepper's cool husband, Robert. Searching through Pepper's things at the request of nearly divorced homicide Lt. Michael Stone, Kate finds a matchbook in an old purse of Pepper's and a hidden diaphragm; she is also shown an earring the police have found in the hallway. Later, after she and Michael have become more intimate, she uses these clues to come up with the culprit and motive. Jacobs tops off this slice of suburban life off with a dollop of romance and a twist of suspense. (Sept.)