cover image Turkey Day Murder

Turkey Day Murder

Leslie Meier. Kensington Publishing Corporation, $20 (240pp) ISBN 978-1-57566-605-1

Despite all her volunteer work and family responsibilities, not to mention her part-time reporting job for her local paper, valiant Lucy Stone manages to maintain her poise in her seventh busy outing (after Christmas Cookie Murder). For Lucy, escorting a preschool field trip to a turkey farm, baking pies for charity or entertaining her husband's difficult clients and son's college roommate for Thanksgiving dinner is all part of her routine in rural Tinker's Cove, Maine. For Native American Carl Nolan, life is full of conflict, whether with his boss, the board of selectmen or the local museum's anthropologist. As Thanksgiving approaches, Lucy covers a town meeting at which the main agenda item is whether the selectmen will support the Metinnicut Indian tribe's petition for recognition by the federal government. Approval would enable the tribe to build a casino on land belonging to Nolan's employer. The ink on that story is barely dry when Nolan's body, his head smashed with a priceless tribal artifact, turns up at the high school Thanksgiving football game. When Lucy accepts the challenge to solve the crime, she finds no lack of suspects. Meier clearly establishes her characters' motives early on, and portrays smalltown life both realistically and sympathetically. Sadly, the story loses some of its impact in a constant stream of minutiae that should leave Lucy, along with readers, gasping for breath and longing for a few minutes of peace and quiet. (Oct.)