The Goodbye Body
Joan Hess. Minotaur Books, $24.95 (302pp) ISBN 978-5-559-08369-8
When Claire Malloy and teenage daughter Caron find rats in their apartment, thanks to the trash-laden downstairs neighbors, it's time to find somewhere else to live, at least temporarily, in the amateur sleuth's fresh and funny 15th outing (after 2002's ""Out on a Limb""). Dolly Goforth, good Samaritan and relative newcomer to Farberville, Ark., comes to the rescue, offering her palatial home as a refuge while she travels. Soon after Claire and Caron and her best friend Inez settle in, however, the girls find a body behind the gazebo. When the police arrive to investigate, the body's gone. Various people keep showing up and asking for Dolly, including two young women who claim Dolly invited them to visit her anytime. Getting in touch with Dolly proves difficult, and when the body keeps turning up only to disappear again, Claire is more determined than ever to resolve this nefarious affair. Hess handles the complicated plot with consummate ease, and her trademark humor is stamped on every page. Fans of the long-running series will find much to entertain, including a decision Claire makes that will affect her relationship with longtime beau Peter Rosen."" (Apr. 18)"" .
Reviewed on: 04/04/2005