Death of a Second Wife: Dotsy Lamb Travel Mystery
by Maria Hudgins
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432825928
Date: 06 July 2012
Death of a Second Wife is Maria Hudgin's fourth Dotsy Lamb Travel Mystery. Dotsy teaches History at a college in Virginia, but travels to Switzerland to attend the wedding of her son Patrick and his fiancée Erin Toomey. Unfortunately, she is forced into close quarters with her ex-husband and his wife, Stephanie. When Stephanie commits suicide or is murdered, the police suspect the husband, Dotsy, and others. To save herself, Dotsy must find the killer.
Stephanie, a member of a wealthy Swiss family, bosses everyone around and planned the entire the wedding to Dotsy's chagrin, but she accepts it for Patrick's sake. Then, Dotsy overhears quarrels between Stephanie and another person, but isn't aware of the identity of that person. She assumes it is the cook Gisele. When both Stephanie and Gisele are found dead, the police are called. At first, they conclude a murder-suicide, but then one of the bullets differs from the one casing found and they now believe the deaths are murders.
Erin wants the wedding to go ahead as planned, but Dotsy and Patrick disagree. Meanwhile, everyone must remain at the Chateau Merz, a vacation home in sight of the Matterhorn. Patrick and Erin had met under the shadow of that mountain.
The police are quick to focus on Chet, the husband, and Dotsy as the ex-wife. Chet, Dotsy's ex, spends most of his time drinking. He claims on the night of murder to have spent the evening in a local bar in the village talking with a man from the Ukraine. However, no one claims to remember him.
When Chet asks Dotsy to help clear his name, she agrees. The police used the picture on his driver's license with potential witnesses. Surprised how much Chet's appearance had changed from that, Dotsy believes that accounts for why no one remembering him.
Dotsy sidekick Lettie Osgood and Marco Quattrocchi, an Italian police officer, return to help her solve the crime. Lettie and Dotsy's keen observations provide essential information while Marco urges the local police to investigate other potential suspects beyond the family. Dotsy has to manage fragile egos, intense emotions, and danger to herself to solve the crimes.
An easy cozy mystery with strong characters and mild language, most will enjoy the read as Dotsy solves the crime. More adventures are certain to follow.