Sidra is finding herself - and the bad guys - after leaving a 30 year marriage.
She’s through being the “preacher’s wife” and ready to be her own person. Author
Sylvia Dickey Smith does a great job of describing 50-year-old Siddie and makes
us care about her family, her detective agency, and her love life. This is the
second Sidra Smart Mystery, a fine stand alone novel and a great invitation to read
others in the series.
Sidra’s second case as owner of the Third Eye Intuitive Investigations has her trying to clear the name of a dead guy. His father is sure Ned did not brutally slash Abe and Cherrie Collins in their home. Yes, he was seen leaving the property and his prints were found on the knife, but father, Durwood Dempsey, knows he just wasn’t that kind of a person. And Ned was killed when he ran off through the train yard and isn’t around to explain himself.
She inherited the agency from her brother Warren and is assisted by Annie, her annoying, but surprisingly capable aunt. She’s new to the business, and in need of a client, but she doubts she can help Dempsey. The sheriff has all but closed the case, and every bit of information she finds seems unrelated.
County Prosecutor Ben Hillerman is a widower who seemed romantically interested, but has stopped calling and returning Sidra’s calls.
Reverend Humble Bluett seems like a phony, but then Sidra has a prejudice against preachers in general. His wife Ella tries to get advice and solace from Sidra, but she just isn’t ready to share her own experiences.
The agency’s office is fire bombed and a body appears on her doorstep, but nothing makes sense to our heroine. The body of a 13-year-old boy, dead 20 years, shows up, as does a fascinating Civil War era ghost. Siddie’s newly acquired dog Slider and her aunt’s somewhat nasty cat add to the cast.
There’s not much gore but author Smith gives us lots of bodies and small town secrets. Area history and the Southern setting contribute well to this story. It’s great to see a mature heroine striking out on her own and doing it well, despite the odds.
REVIEWED BY LYNN BUSHEY
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