cover image Shadow of Doubt: A Kali O'Brien Mystery

Shadow of Doubt: A Kali O'Brien Mystery

Jonnie Jacobs. Kensington Publishing Corp, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-57566-017-2

Jacobs, author of two mysteries starring Kate Austen (Murder Among Neighbors and Murder Among Friends), inaugurates a series featuring San Francisco lawyer Kale O'Brien with a gritty tale that takes the heroine back to her roots. When Kale (aka Kali) returns to her small California hometown to attend her father's funeral and clean out his effects, she finds his dog preggers and herself, before long, in deep trouble. At a barbecue, she's approached by Eddie Marrero--high-school football coach, womanizer and the husband of Kali's former best friend, Jannine. Eddie wants some legal advice. Before they can meet privately, however, he's killed, and Jannine becomes the chief suspect. Jannine's mother asks Kali to look into the case, which is being investigated by an old fishing buddy of Kali's father. Kali learns that Eddie was trying to buy out his uncle's share of a local bar, and she wonders where he was planning to get the extra money to do so. As she questions Eddie's relatives, friends and acquaintances, the police case mounts against Jannine (Eddie had a mistress, and the handgun used to kill him belongs to Jannine). Jacobs spins a merely adequate mystery plot here, but she portrays Kali's return to her home--and the self-revelation the trip engenders--with a sure sense of character. (Mar.)