A Review By Sandra Ruttan

Two recent murders have people in the Nickel Capitol on edge. Realtor Belle Palmer becomes part of the investigation when she discovers the body of a client while showing a home to potential buyers, and it isn’t long before the murder investigation is compounded by the search for a missing child.

I think I grew up with Belle Palmer’s prototype as a neighbour. She’s feisty, independent, loves nature and does things her own way. As a character, she’s one that I think readers will enjoy for her unique wit and her strong personality. And, while I haven’t read the other books in the series, I suspect Murder, Eh? gives readers a rare glimpse at a more maternal Belle as she gets to know the son of the third murder victim, before he disappears.

As someone who loves police procedurals, I’m not sure I’m the best person to assess amateur sleuth offerings. If you’re like me and typically prefer books that follow the investigation, with that as the primary focus of the story, you might not find this to be the right book for you. Murder, Eh? is more about Belle Palmer and much of the book circles the periphery of the active investigation. While I don’t want to give any spoilers, there was a moment when I wanted to smack Belle for being so foolish. After your life has been threatened a few times, one would think some caution would be in order…

However, that’s where the character comes in and balances it out, because Belle is stubborn and she is independent, and you can believe she’d make the exact same choice in the same situation again. I hate to admit it, but there’s a bit of me in that, someone who feels challenged and, instead of perhaps demonstrating the most sensible course of action, gets their back up and stubbornly goes ahead, even when you know deep down it’s a bad idea.

If you like amateur sleuth offerings, this is a story that ties all the aspects together. Things that might not seem important are, and there’s a character here worth knowing, and an author worth seeing more from.


Sandra Ruttan has just signed a deal for the release of her first novel, Suspicious Circumstances, in early 2007. A regular contributor to Spinetingler Magazine, her work can also be found in the July/August issue of Crimespree Magazine. For more information about Sandra visit her website or her blog.

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© 2006 SPINETINGLER Magazine - All rights reserved

Murder, Eh?
Scare the Light Away

Burdan of Memory