Clark's Eye on Books

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Killer Cousins - A Cealie Gun ther Mystery - June Shaw, Author

Killer Cousins – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

I’d flown into Gatlinburg, reached my cousin’s house, shoved on the stuck gate of her backyard’s wooden fence, and fallen. “Stevie!” I cried, lying face down
in tall grass. “Ste—vie!” Her screen door slammed. “Oh, Cealie, it’s
you! You came!” She squatted beside me and I noticed my hand landed
in dog doo-doo. I jerked my hand back. I wasn’t wearing my bifocals
but could tell the poop was dry. Still – I swiped my fingers through
the grass. “You didn’t answer the doorbell,” I said, checking my hand
to make sure it was clean, “so I came back here. I tripped over
something.” I moved my legs slowly to make sure my stinging knees
weren’t broken. So many trees cluttered Stevie’s yard, I figured a thick
branch had fallen, and it was the object my shins lay across. “I’ll
help you move that thing out of the way.” I pointed back to it. Stevie
didn’t speak. I glanced back to see what brought about this bizarre
occurrence. She stooped near me but didn’t look at my face. Stevie
stared at my feet… I took my time rising. Until I glanced toward
where she stared. “It’s a man!” I yelled, scrambling to my feet.
“Stevie, there’s a man in your grass.”

Cealie and Stevie are cousins and had grown up close, but in distance only. Their mothers were sisters but their grandmother seemed to favor Cealie over
Stevie. This ended up giving Stevie a problem with jealousy, and she
made Cealie cry whenever possible. So as Cealie prepared for her trip
to Acapulco the call from Stevie begging her to come for a visit was a
surprise. She insisted she “needed” her presence and that she, Stevie,
was in danger. What caused Stevie to believe she was in danger? Her
tarot cards, candles and crystals, of course.

Reading this book and hearing the feelings these two women had for each other brought back memories of some of my own cousins. There always seemed
to be one that just stood out in the family as being special, causing
others to feel jealous and left out. That’s what appeared to be the
problem with the relationship between Stevie and Cealie in Killer
. So, will the death of a member of Stevie’s stop smoking
group change things for them? Will it make matters worse when another
member of the group ends up dead in a restaurant owned by Cealie’s lover
Gil? Or will it bring the two cousins closer together? Why would
anyone kill two people who had only one thing in common, which was to
quit smoking? And how did they kill them? There are no apparent signs
of a struggle on either victim. I’ll give you a clue. I guessed the
cause around page 115 for the 1st murder. As to the who the
killer might be, there are 321 pages in Killer Cousins, I thought
I had the answer on page 300 but I was wrong. The killer was a total
surprise for me.

321 pages
Gale Cengage
ISBN 978-1-59414-730-2

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