Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Format:Hardback 207 pgs
Subject: mental illness, small town coverup
Setting: fictional town of Port Fred Massachusetts
Series: Jenny Crain mysteries
Genre: mystery-amateur detective
Source: public library
Challenge: Support Your Local Library
I read this one for our monthly Mystery Book Club. Pickard is a new author for me, and I found her writing crisp, easy to read, and believable. This is #7 of the series (the only one the library had available), but I definitely intend to track down some of the earlier episodes.
Jenny Crain, Exec Director of a non-profit in her small town is dealing with her mother's death, trying to uncover the real reason mom spent years in a mental institution. As she asks questions, she becomes more and more puzzled about the reactions she gets from townspeople, including the members of her own board. Several incidents cause her to fear that someone is out to do her physical harm. Discouraged by her sister from further searching, but egged on by her friend - who happens to be her psychiatrist, and encouraged by her husband- who happens to be a police detective, she works to uncover the mystery of why her mother became ill, and why no one wants to talk about it.
The inter-family dynamics, particularly with her no-good father and his second wife, make it particularly interesting. I especially like the relationship between Jenny and her husband. Both have professional lives separate from each other, but their mutual respect and support brings a richness to both of them, that many couples can only dream about.
Definitely worth going back to read some of the previous ones in the series (this is #7)