When a homeless woman, aka Crazy Popeye, is arrested for the murder of a school principal, former Pennsylvania hairdresser and fledgling reporter Bubbles Yablonsky covers her arraignment. In typical Bubbles fashion, everything goes wrong, and she ends up in a cell with Popeye. The good news: She gets an exclusive interview; the bad news: Popeye then keels over dead.

Believing in Popeye's innocence, Bubbles refuses to turn over her interview notes. She searches for the real killer, finding a connection to incriminating photos taken at a podiatrist's office.

Meanwhile, Bubbles accedes to the wishes of her boyfriend, AP reporter Steve Stiletto, that they have a pretend engagement. But when it comes complete with a Harry Winston diamond, Bubbles falls harder for her sexy white knight.

Witty and entertaining, Strohmeyer's latest well-crafted mystery is filled with laugh-out-loud humor. Bubbles is an engaging protagonist, and though she's naive about the world beyond the Lehigh Valley, she has appealing common-sense smarts. (Apr., 304 pp., $19.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick