Joan Hess has her Maggody series. Anne George's Southern Sisters series had its unusual characters. Deb Baker has made the Upper Peninsula of Michigan her own in Murder Passes The Buck. Sixty-six-year-old Gertie Johnson has her own set of quirky friends to compare with the characters in either of the other series. It's a funny mystery with a serious message.
Gertie's been mourning her deceased husband for almost a year, and it's time to get on with her life. When her neighbor is shot dead on the opening day of deer hunting season, she jumps on the chance to investigate his murder. It doesn't matter that her son, the sheriff, has ruled it an accidental death. Gertie's friends rally around to support her investigations, despite her occasional opposition to their assistance. Her 6'4", 250 pound grandson, Little Donny, and her flirtatious friend Cora Mae act as co-pilots, while her friend, Kitty, insists on being her bodyguard. Their Keystone Cop antics as they chase around town belie the seriousness of Gertie's mission. The feisty, opinionated woman is determined to solve the murder. She also has to prove to her son that she's competent to live alone and manage her own affairs.
Deb Baker's Gertie is an independent, strong woman, learning to cope after her husband's death. She thrusts herself into the madcap adventures of life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and finds she's a survivor.
Deb Baker's web site is www.debbakerbooks.com
Murder Passes The Buck by Deb Baker. Midnight Ink. c2006. ISBN 0738708720 (paperback), 264 p.