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  • Handy Hidey-Hole Hides Homicide

    Claudia Simcoe’s marketplace is serving as the host for a library fundraiser when one of the volunteers makes a surprising discovery. There’s a hidden compartment in the wall, and someone has opened it in the middle of the event. Claudia quickly determines that it was Clark Gowan, a local lawyer. In fact, Gowan had been part of the deal when Claudia bought the marketplace. When she goes to confront him the next morning, she discovers his dead body. Did what he took from the compartment lead to his murder? Having enjoyed the first in the series, I was looking forward to this one, and I wasn’t disappointed. Claudia is a very relatable main character, and she leads a cast of good suspects. I did find the tenants in the marketplace hard to keep straight, but they were background characters, so that was okay. The plot is strong with plenty of pieces to keep us guessing until Claudia puts it all together. I laughed and smiled my way through the book at Claudia’s observations about what was happening. I grew up near the part of Sonoma County, California, where the fictitious San Elmo is located, so I really enjoyed that as well. If you’ve missed this series, fix that today. If you enjoyed the first, you’ll enjoy this one, too.

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