The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

April 16, 2012

Patty Crane: Light-hearted series gets heavier with each book

JOPLIN, Mo. — When I travel, I always make sure I have plenty in the way of reading material. Because I was going to Philadelphia and Dallas, I perused the new books shelf at the Joplin Library to find some traveling companions.

I found just what I was looking for in Lisa Bork’s “In Sickness and In Death.” When I get to read for pleasure I like mystery and suspense, and I like to read series. This little mystery is the third in the “Broken Vows” series. What more could I ask?

Well, I could ask for the first, “For Better, for Murder,” and the second, “For Richer, for Danger,” installations in the series. The library had both books checked in so I was ready for layovers, delays and long car rides.

In “For Better, for Murder” we meet Jolene Asdale. Jolene owns Asdale Auto Imports in Wachobe, N.Y., a quaint village on the lake. With the help of her mechanic and friend, Cory Kempe, she is a step away from making her business a success.

Jolene deals in exotic cars and has just bought a Ferrari Spider with the ideal customer lined up to take a look and take it home. Everything is perfect until she opens the door to show the beautiful Italian leather interior ÑÊand a dead man falls out.

Her call for help brings the local chief of police plus a deputy, Ray Parker, from the sheriff’s office. When Walter, the police chief, loses his breakfast at the sight of the body, Deputy Parker takes over. Ray is tall, good-looking, competent and Jolene’s almost ex-husband.

After three years apart from Ray, Jolene finally accepted a date and went out a few times with accountant Tim Lapham. Now Tim has just fallen out of her Ferrari with a knife in his chest, and Jolene is the prime murder suspect.

Sweethearts since high school and married for more than a decade, Jolene and Ray had only one problem: Ray wanted children, and Jolene was too leery of her genetic heritage to want to pass it on.

When Jolene was 12 her mentally ill mother committed suicide, leaving Jolene behind with her little sister Erica. Their eccentric father left most the care of Erica to Jolene. When Erica was diagnosed as bipolar, and after several suicide attempts entered a treatment facility, Jolene knew she would never risk having children.

Even though this issue drove them apart, Jolene still depends on Ray, and she trusts him to help her find the killer. But as the evidence piles up against Jolene and Ray shows signs of finally moving past their broken marriage, Jolene knows she needs to help herself if she wants to avoid being charged with murder.

This entertaining novel with a likable cast of characters was a light, quick read, and I expected more of the same with the second and third in the series. However, as the series develops, elements of family drama creep in, and they are not as light as I first thought. The peril Jolene faces is not only physical but can be emotional too.

Jolene is still asking questions and trying to find answers. In “For Richer, for Danger,” the search is for baby Noelle’s mother since her name and social security number match those of someone who died a year ago. As for “In Sickness and In Death,” the mystery involves finding out who a severed arm in the trunk of a stolen car belongs to, is she dead, and who killed her?

All of these novels have multiple storylines in addition to their mysteries, and the cast of characters has depth. So whether I’ll be traveling or at home in my favorite reading spot, I look forward to the next book in this entertaining series.

Also, if you are in a book club, each novel has a list of book club questions in the back.

 

Patty Crane is the reference librarian for the Joplin Public Library.

1
Text Only
Globe Life
  • 041314_cj glass1.jpg Carl Junction students create projects, win awards at national contest with glass arts

    The students are part of a new glass arts class at Carl Junction High School taught by Jessica Sellars, a graduate of the school who earned her bachelor's degree from Missouri Southern State University and her masters of art education from Pittsburg State University. The art teacher taught for 20 years at Coronado High School, located in Henderson, Nev.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • ryan richardson Ryan Richardson: K-9 unit receives protection from donors

    I know I write a lot about pet advocacy in this column, but for a moment, I want to write about pet heroes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Website helps locate library microfilms

    Family history researchers must be determined sleuths to learn about some ancestors who don't show up in easily-obtained records. This week, I learned about a free resource that will help in the search of elusive ancestors.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_032123610 Patty Crane: Reporter's mea culpa found in identity theft

    As I was browsing the library's list of new materials for March, "True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa" by Michael Finkel caught my attention.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer Website helps locate library microfilms

    Family history researchers must be determined sleuths to learn about some ancestors who don't show up in easily-obtained records. This week, I learned about a free resource that will help in the search of elusive ancestors.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_312124454 Linda Cannon: Gardening book helps plan for spring

    In springtime, many of us think of gardening, so, come snow or sleet or whatever, it's time to get into those gardening books and see what improvements can be made to our yards (or decks or patios if that's all you have).

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • ryan richardson Ryan Richardson: Pet deposits legal in Missouri, vary by state

    Building upon last week's column about what goes into moving and renting with pets, I wanted to touch on something that I wasn't too sure a lot of people were familiar with. I had a few people ask me about the legalities of a pet deposit and how it applies to residents in Missouri.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Website allows access to news archives

    Between 1982 and 2011, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress worked together to develop a program called "Chronicling America." Each year, NEH gave monetary awards to institutions in various states to digitize 100,000 pages of old newspapers that relate to each state's history.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 040214 LIFE barbershop2_c.jpg Barbershop choirs grow in popularity thanks to singing TV shows, pop culture

    Singers call it the "angel's voice." The phenomenon occurs when a group of singers reach an identical chord, voices blended together as one, the harmonics justly tuned and balanced, creating a new frequency of sound that can "literally raise up the hair on the arm," said Don Snow.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Berries were big business in Southwest Missouri history

    Recently, I noticed some blooms on my strawberry plants on the patio, and I was reminded of my youth in the Ozarks when children often earned money by picking strawberries in the fields of local farmers. I, along with my sisters, brother and all the other children in the area, looked forward to the experience each summer.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Poll

In an effort to curb prostitution, St. Louis police are targeting, and perhaps humiliating, the "johns" who use the services. Postcards mailed to the homes of those charged with trying to pick up prostitutes will offer a reminder about spreading sexually transmitted diseases, along with listing the court date. Do you think this is a good approach?

A. Yes.
N. No.
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers