cover image A Welcome Murder

A Welcome Murder

Robin Yocum. Seventh Street, $15.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-63388-263-8

Memorable oddball characters, whose ambitions collide with results ranging from comic to fatal, populate Yocum’s exceptionally clever novel set in Steubenville, Ohio, a once-thriving town near the West Virginia border. Johnny Earl, an ex-con who was once destined for a great pro baseball career, returns home from Pittsburgh hoping to retrieve his hidden nest egg. Sheriff Francis Roberson has dreamed since childhood of becoming president of the United States, and he has a plan. Roberson’s wife, Allison, has one driving goal—to get out of Steubenville. Dena Marie Conchek Androski Xenakis, former homecoming queen, she of multiple marriages and affairs, is still in love with Johnny. Dena’s insecure husband, Smoochie Xenakis, has put up with insults and abuse all his life. The murder of unsavory Rayce Daubner, who’s intimately connected with all the others, initiates the chaos, which one seemingly minor character quietly manages. Yocum (A Brilliant Death) has produced a rollick- ing tale sure to appeal to Donald Westlake and Elmore Leonard fans. [em]Agent: Colleen Mohyde, Doe Coover Agency. (Apr.) [/em]