Settle in for a nerve-wracking mystery set in the rural Florida. Lesley A. Diehl's A Sporting Murder may include women from West Palm Beach, but the characters and murderous activities are right out of old Florida.
Eve Appel and her best friend, Madeleine, co-owners of a high-class consignment shop, are enjoying one of their few relaxing days away from work, boating with Eve's PI boyfriend, Alex, and Madeleine's boyfriend, David Wilson. But, their day is ruined when a fellow boater throws bait into the water to attract sharks. And, shark would be the best description for Blake Reed. He's a neighbor and competitor of David's. Both own sport-hunting reserves, but David deals only with native animals, while Reed believes in importing and hunting exotic animals. Reed will do anything in his power to take over Wilson's business. And, when David Wilson is arrested for the death of a man on the border of the property, Eve and her friends know Reed is behind it.
But, Reed isn't the only shark in his family. His wife intends to force Eve and Madeleine out of business, and when that doesn't work, their shop burns down. Add in the disappearance of a friend's nephew, a Miccosukee Indian, and it seems someone is up to no good. Fortunately, Eve has a network of friends to turn to for support.
A Sporting Murder is a character-driven, action-packed mystery. In the third Eve Appel adventure, she admits she gets carried away. She's a smart-mouthed, over-zealous amateur sleuth, who can be a little childish at times, and wants to stick herself into every aspect of the investigation. Fortunately, she's backed up by a diverse group of friends; "a mob boss, a PI, a whole crowd of cowboys, rich women from West Palm'", a couple Miccosukees, her grandmother, and her best friend. Lesley A. Diehl takes readers into a still exotic Florida with an entire cast of eccentric characters, including her sleuth.
Lesley A. Diehl retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida--cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office. Back north, she devotes her afternoons to writing and, when the sun sets, relaxing on the bank of her trout stream, sipping tea or a local microbrew.
Diehl's website is www.lesleyadiehl.com. The blog tour site is http://asportingmurder.blogspot.com
A Sporting Murder by Lesley a. Diehl. Camel Press. 2015. ISBN 9781603819398 (paperback), 240p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received a copy of the book in order to participate in the blog tour.