Beads of Doubt
by Barbara Burnett Smith with Karen MacInerney
Cover Artist: Dan Craig
Review by Beth Slater
Berkley Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425216088
Date: 05 June 2007 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Beads of Doubt is the second in the series starring Kitzi Camden, and unfortunately the last for author Barbara Burnett Smith, who passed away while writing this novel. Kitzi is a former Texas Senator who lives, works, and plays in Austin, TX with her large cast of characters, which includes friends and family. Politics is in Kitzi's blood, as her father and grandfather were both elected officials, and their homestead, known as "The Manse" is home to Kitzi and her mother, and to several charitable functions, as well. The Bead Tea is this weekend, with the proceeds to go to the Ovarian Cancer Organization (OCO). Just as everything is being set up and ready to begin, Kitzi gets notice that her cousin Houston is trying to swing the corporate vote to take control of the Manse, leaving its current occupants out in the dust.
Kitzi is accustomed to juggling several things at once, but she's feeling the strain. When Houston's partner Andrew is found dead in the dumpster behind Kitzi's property after the first day of the Bead Tea, Kitzi can't even begin to count the suspects, but she knows it had to be someone with access to her grandmother's candlesticks because one of them was found with the body. Kitzi and her best friend Beth start investigating Andrew's past in between arranging table linens, selling beaded items in their booth, visiting loved ones in the hospital, heating up their love lives, and boning up on poker rules and regulations with twin 5 year olds.
The two women go undercover to an illegal card tournament hoping to get more information on Andrew's life after finding a recurring event in his calendar – for Texas H'em. Of course, life is never simple for Kitzi, and she and Beth have to sneak out of the building to escape a possible bust by the police while setting off their car alarm. Kitzi's impetuosity is somewhat harnessed by her sharp mind, both of which follow the maze-like clues wherever they lead - with somewhat surprising repercussions.
I am sorry to hear that there will be no more adventures with Kitzi. She is a truly likable and very human character who is someone to look up to and relate with all at the same time. Her tales are fun and mysterious, especially with the interwoven events involving the beading community. I enjoyed both books in this series, and I think that anyone who enjoys crafting or crafts in general would enjoy these novels.