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Helen Currie Foster
Ghost Cat
Real estate's hot in once peaceful Coffee Creek, Texas--hotter than lawyer Alice MacDonald Greer has ever seen. An unscrupulous developer is muscling in, abusing undocumented workers and menacing his neighbors. Ignoring threats, Alice challenges him in court. When one of her clients is shot dead, and another nearly suffocated in a wine vat, Alice has a target on her back. A devious mastermind is intent on stopping her -- permanently. Is she snake-bit? She'll need more than legal skills to foil a scheme that threatens her town, her clients, her life.
In Foster’s fast-paced sixth Alice MacDonald Greer mystery (after Ghost Next Door), the small-town Texas lawyer contends with feuding clients and dead bodies. Alice is still reeling from discovering a body at the edge of her land, but it’s otherwise business as usual. Her current clients include a former pro football player turned vintner who wants to buy out his partner, a new client wanting to set up a trust for her sister in a care facility, and a couple complaining about mysterious vehicles entering and exiting their neighbor’s property. When one client is found shot and another almost suffocated, Greer is desperate to find out why they’re being targeted, and by whom. Among her suspects are a solitary new resident whom neighbors call the Hermit, a cowgirl with a missing finger, and a client’s bull-headed, disgruntled partner.

Foster quickly sets up elements of mystery from the very first page, with the mention of a ranch hand’s missing sister and the potentially problematic gunshots heard nearby. The intrigue keeps building through the novel as Alice builds formidable list of possible suspects and uncovers new clues in this deftly paced and formulated plot. Poised and self-assured, Alice is a refreshing protagonist. Her quick comebacks, fearless sleuthing skills, and sensitivity in her quietly budding midlife romance make her a likable and well rounded heroine.

The engaging dialogue flows naturally and effectively brings out the personalities of secondary characters such as Alice’s indomitable secretary, Silla, whose liveliness adds lightness to the story. The uncluttered prose boasts several evocative turns of phrases, and the atmospheric descriptions are succinct and vivid, highlighting the rugged and bountiful landscape of Texas Hill Country. Foster’s skillful plotting, easy pace, and captivating characters will be a big hit for audiences craving a new mystery series to binge-read.

Takeaway: This sleuthing Texas attorney will hit the mark with readers who love mysteries featuring guns, cowboys, and a spunky female lead.

Great for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: -
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A