As the Crow Flies (P.J. Benson Mysteries)

KIRKUS REVIEW

As the Crow Flies - Cover

A speech on scams that rural Michigan CPA P.J. Benson (The Crows, 2007) gives at a local library plunges her into a second murder investigation.

Barely recovered from her first brush with murder, P.J. is being harassed by her dangerous neighbor Nora Wright over a piece of woodland she claims is rightfully hers. In addition, P.J.’s boyfriend, homicide detective Wade Kingsley, is suddenly strangely distant. But the little old lady who comes to the library talk and hands P.J. her nephew’s briefcase is the one who causes all the trouble. Soon the nephew is found dead and P.J. is attacked. The briefcase contains soil samples, maps and a cell phone, none of which makes sense to P.J., who’s more concerned with a nasty fight, pitting neighbor against neighbor, over plans to straighten a road. The main protester, who plans to open a boarding kennel, fears that the heavy trucks speeding by every night will end up in her yard. When the kennel owner’s home is blown up, only her sick dog survives. P.J. takes him to her vet, fearful that she’s exposed her own dog to a deadly disease. Now that she’s a suspect in the murder and Wade’s involved in his own problems, P.J. must figure out who’s willing to kill to protect a secret before she becomes the next victim.

Combines just the right amount of romance with a puzzle good enough to keep readers guessing.

Pub Date: March 16th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59414-952-8
Page count: 290pp
Publisher: Five Star
Review Posted Online: Dec. 30th, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2010

5 out of 5 stars. A great read!, October 29, 2013

By Sandra L. Williams “Sandy in Michigan” (Michigan) – See all my reviews
This review is from: As the Crow Flies (Five Star Mystery Series) (Hardcover)

This is the second Maris Soule mystery I’ve read and I’ve enjoyed both of them. The heroine is well rounded out and very human in her failings. I also love the fact that the setting is Michigan, my home state, and Ms. Soule has depicted it accurately and beautifully.

5 out of 5 stars. Love it!, July 25, 2013

By tricol – See all my reviews

This review is from: As the Crow Flies (P.J. Benson Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)

Am just finishing up the book. It has been one those I had a hard time putting down. I have read other Maris Soule books and very much enjoyed them all. Just waiting for book 3 to come out.

5 out of 5 stars. As The Crow Flies, April 27, 2012

By Robert M. Weir (Michigan) – See all my reviews
This review is from: As the Crow Flies (Five Star Mystery Series) (Hardcover)

I love how Maris keeps putting a hook at the end of each chapter, enticing me to read just one more chapter.

4 out of 5 stars. Interesting whodunit, April 8, 2011

By Harriet Klausner – See all my reviews
(#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)

This review is from: As the Crow Flies (Five Star Mystery Series) (Hardcover)

Zenith, Michigan CPA P.J. Benson gives a talk at the town library warning people not to get sucked into scams; the mantra is that if it seems too good to be true it is because it is too good to be true. After completing her presentation, elderly Ida Delaney hands a battered briefcase owned by her nephew Donald to P.J. She reluctantly accepts it.

Ida fears her nephew is blackmailing people over what is inside the briefcase: lab reports, maps, and soil samples that make several people look guilty of criminal activity. Not long afterward, Donald arrives at P.J.’s home, demands the briefcase and attacks her before leaving with it. Her boyfriend Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department Detective Sergeant Wade Kingsley warns her to back off, but P.J. obstinately refuses as she investigates a case that turns to homicide.

The second Benson Michigan cozy (see The Crows) is an interesting whodunit as the heroine and Baraka the Rhodesian Ridgeback investigate the case. The story line is fast-paced, but I had an issue with how the heroine’s boyfriend the cop (and others) handle the violence against her as if she is at fault for the assaults by her neighbor Nora and Donald. Still, fans will enjoy the intrepid amateur sleuth as she ignores Wade (except to wonder why he seems to have dumped her without telling her) and the threats to her life to continue her inquiries.

Harriet Klausner

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