cover image Different Paths

Different Paths

Judy Clemens, . . Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (258pp) ISBN 978-1-59058-300-5

When someone assaults veterinarian Carla Beaumont and hijacks her truck in Clemens’s engaging fifth mystery to feature Pennsylvania dairy farmer Stella Crown (after 2007’s The Day Will Come ), it appears the perp was after drugs. But Stella is quick to see a pattern after other females in male-dominated professions are subjected to various attacks, one of them fatal. Less to her credit, Stella tends to judge people too hastily, as she does Carla’s new boyfriend, whom she meets in the hospital where Carla is recuperating. Stella’s also quick to jump to conclusions about any number of suspects. As with previous books in the series, the chief attraction rests in Stella’s relationships with such people as her boyfriend, Nick, and her farmhand, Lucy, as well as in the daily trials, tribulations and pleasures of running a small dairy farm. Stella may not get high marks for her sleuthing, but she’s persistent, loyal and determined, qualities that should continue to attract new readers. (Sept.)