I don't know why I've missed the last couple Miniature books by Margaret Grace. Madness in Miniature, her latest one, reminded me that they're terrific mysteries featuring an astute amateur sleuth. And, it reminded me that I love the relationship between Gerry Porter and her eleven-year-old granddaughter, Maddie.
School's out for the summer, so Maddie can spend more time visiting her grandmother in Lincoln Point, California. They're carrying one of Gerry's dollhouses to a new store, SuperKrafts, when they come across an argument between the two store owners who sold out to the giant chain craft store. All along, Gerry has been a little uneasy about the store coming to town. What are they sacrificing, "the homey feel of our downtown or the disruption of the careers and livelihoods of our friends"? One of Gerry's friends, Bebe, seems to think she sold out so that a box store could take over the craft market in town. Catherine Duncan, the PR emissary for the store, hopes that Gerry can act as liaison as she has in recent months.
At first, a death at SuperKrafts is attributed to an earthquake, but it doesn't take long for Gerry's nephew Skip, a homicide detective, to tell her it was murder. It's one thing for him to question Catherine, a fellow member of the management staff, but when he invites Bebe to the police station, Gerry grows concerned. Would one of her friends kill to prevent the store from opening? Gerry uses all of her knowledge of the community, and Maddie's computer skills, to dig into the mystery.
Margaret Grace is skillful in bringing the clues together in this intriguing mystery. But, she's also skilled in writing about family relationships. Gerry finds herself juggling a murder investigation with her worries about an unhappy granddaughter who is on the outs with her best friend. And, Skip spends as much time consulting his aunt and filling her in as he does on the investigation itself. But, that's part of the joy of this series. The family relationships and love bring this series to life.
Madness in Miniature is another successful, enjoyable mystery in my favorite series by this prolific author.
Margaret Grace (Camille Minichino) has a website at http://www.minichino.com
Madness in Miniature by Margaret Grace. Perseverance Press. 2014. ISBN 9781564745439 (paperback), 246p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.