cover image On the Nickel: A Cleopatra Jones Mystery

On the Nickel: A Cleopatra Jones Mystery

Maggie Toussaint, Five Star, $25.95 (242p) ISBN 978-1-59414-954-2

In the first half of Toussaint's middling second Cleopatra Jones mystery set in rural Maryland (after 2008's In for a Penny), accountant Cleo worries a lot about her mother, Mama, getting arrested for the fatal hit-and-run of Mama's archenemy and fellow Episcopal church member, Erica Hodges, in the church parking lot. When Cleo's supposed friend, Det. Britt Radcliff, finally arrests Mama for murder, Cleo is relieved that at least she no longer has to worry about sticking her in an old folks' home. In addition to trying to save Mama from the pen, Cleo must take care of two teenage daughters, ward off a pushy ex-husband, and hang onto her golf pro lover. Aging baby boomers may take offense at the portrayal of mid-60s Mama and her friends as feeble, arthritic, and doddering, while those who prefer clean cozies should be prepared for some frank sex talk. (Mar.)