Formula for Murder, the third in the “maternal instincts” mystery series, opens with every driver’s nightmare. Stopped at a traffic light, Kate Connolly happens to glance in her rearview mirror and sees a car speeding towards her. Hoping the car would break but seeing no evidence that the driver was even slowing down, she watches in that “slo-mo” sequencing that accidents seem to unfold in. But the worst is yet to come. Though neither Kate nor her baby is seriously hurt, she is outraged that the driver of the other car speeds away. Although she got a good look at the driver, and the license plate, she knows that no good is going to come from this because the car was sporting diplomatic plates.
While the accident was really a case of Kate being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it results in Kate being drawn into the underbelly of both city and diplomatic politics when what she really wants to do is get ready for her daughter’s first Christmas.
The basic theme this series is built around-the joys and struggles of motherhood-is not particularly a draw for me, but the writing in Formula for Murder is excellent. From the opening hook until the very last page, the author has used action and suspense to keep the pages flying. The mystery itself is well plotted out with many excellent twists.