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Alexis Hall

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Small Town Trouble

Small Town Trouble - Jean Erhardt Small Town Trouble is the first book of the Kim Claypoole Mystery series (book two to be released June 2014). It follows the heroine (unsurprisingly named Kim Claypoole) as she returns to her hometown of Fogarty in order to help her emotionally immature mother navigate the ever-deepening mire of her financial difficulties.

This review will contain spoilers.

Anyway, on arrival in Fogarty, Kim discovers that a local topless bar owner has shown up dead in his own carpark with his throat slit and his genitals severed. Because Kim isn’t so much a detective as the part-owner of a restaurant, she mostly ignores this fact an gets on with … well … the job she’s actually in town to do. Which I sort of appreciated on one level, because it added an air of psychological plausibility to proceedings, but I did spend about the first dozen chapters thinking “well this is all very interesting, but are we going to get any more information on that murder any time soon?”

To give Kim her due, she’s distracted by the rather more pressing mystery of the clearly pseudonymous “Larry White”, who is offering her mother far more money than is sensible for a tiny parcel of land and a failing local radio station. She’s also rather distracted by her tempestuous but currently off-again affair with minor TV personality, and by the reappearance in her life of an old schoolfriend, Amy Delozier, with whom she has – shall we say – unresolved tensions.

Full review o'er here