by Patricia Stoltey
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432829865
Date: 19 November 2014
In this stand-alone mystery, Dead Wrong, Patricia Stoltey covers rogue police, spousal abuse, gang revenge, and a crime bossís check kiting scheme. Fortunately for cozy readers, she keeps most of the violence off stage.
A likeable heroine, Lynette Foster nee Hudson, flees her new husband after he takes his anger over his possible suspension from the Glades Police out on her. Once he leaves, she packs, does her best to disguise her injuries, and heads for the airport. One aboard her flight to California, she breathes a sigh of release.
Also aboard the flight is Fat ASS Sammy Grick, a strong-arm courier for crime boss Benito Ortega and Grace, a young girl, heading to L.A. to meet her father. Their fates collide when Sammy mistakes Lynette's laptop case as his own. Neither discovers the switch until they deplane in Denver.
Fearful of Sammy, Grace sneaks after Lynette. Undecided between a train and a bus, Lynette and Grace head to the bus station. There they meet Blue, who initially appears a street hippie. While there, Lynette discovers she has the wrong bag and an envelope of large checks. The accompanying phone delivers a sinister message from Ortega.
After Blue reveals her identity as a college student, she takes them to Fort Collins to wait until they decide how to proceed and to discuss the situation with her father. Then Lynette discovers she is wanted for her husband's murder.
Stoltey provides an interesting adventure as the naÔve Lynette tries to elude Fat Sammy and Ortega's henchmen. Lynette doesn't realize that Sammy's phone enables Ortega to pinpoint her location. Even after Fat Sammy dies, a consequence of his weight and health, henchmen still track Lynette.
Grace has lied repeatedly to Lynette about her status, her father is a FBI agent, and he wants his daughter safe. Now, police, the FBI, and the crime boss are all chasing Lynette. Subtle humor abounds.
Series mysteries by Stoltey include the Sylvia and Willie Mysteries including Prairie Grass Murders and Desert Hedge Murders.