by Janice Peacock
I totally enjoyed Janice Peacock’s Aloe & Goodbye, Book One in the Ruby Shaw series. It’s a clean cozy mystery, but with a touch of chill. No, not from the ghosts at the “haunted” Hill Top Hotel, but from the fact that Ruby Shaw and her Daughter are in the Witness Protection program, hiding from real life criminals until she can testify against them. She admits right from the beginning that Ruby Shaw is not her real name, and that Paradise, Arizona is very far from her “real” hometown of New York City in so many ways. But she is determined to make it work, somehow.
She’s a mama-bear when it comes to her daughter and a no nonsense toughie when it comes to men who overstep. But she easily makes and mostly keeps a few gal-friends in town, including a “crazy-insane” shopkeeper, a talkative café waitress, and a cool deputy sheriff named Darla Cotton.
The first night they are in their new bare-bones house, a murder is committed next door. So, who do you think becomes a person of interest? Ruby tries to help with the investigation, disobeying the strict warnings from her U.S. Marshal “keeper,” and ends up looking even more guilty. Good thing there is a handsome young cook/farmer who wants to help her. But wait, he ends up as a suspect as well after the second murder! And then Ruby gets a scary visitor…. Eek!
You just have to jump into the first chapter of Aloe & Goodbye, and I guarantee you will you will be flipping those pages to get to the end. And then you’ll sign up for news of the next in the series, like I did.