Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Amazon US HC Amazon Canada HC
Dorothy Brenner Francis
Class/Genre: Mystery Woman Main Character Amateur Sleuth
Series: Keely Moreno
Five Star, Jan. 2005, $25.95, 306 pp.
In Key West, Keely Moreno is the only foot reflexologist on the island; she takes patients in her office but for special clients she makes house calls. When Keely arrives at Margaux Ashford’s house, she finds her client dead from a bullet, a gun in her hand. The police question Keely extensively but won’t say if the rich civic minded woman was murdered or committed suicide. Keely is friendly with the children of Margaux’s husband, Jess and Punt; the trio agrees to look for suspects.
The matter becomes urgent for the reflexologist because ballistics show Margaux was shot with Keely’s gun and the alibi of Margaux’s husband fails to check out. Keely believes her abusive ex-husband is the guilty party because she and her grandmother saw him following her despite a restraining order. When a fire burns down the house she is living in Keely thinks her former spouse has something to do with it because she spotted him in the crowd and he left evidence behind. Punt isn’t at all certain he’s the perpetrator and insists they keep investigating, a move that almost costs Keely her life.
PIER PRESSURE is a fantastic amateur sleuth tale with equal attention given to characterizations and the investigation. Keely is a vulnerable yet courageous woman trying to start life over after being beaten continuously by her ex-husband. Although he is stalking her, there is no direct evidence linking him to the murder so readers will wonder who the perpetrator really is and keep reading to find out. Dorothy Francis is a talented writer and this reviewer will be on the lookout for her next mystery.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner