Talley's stalwart protagonist, the fabulous Hannah Ives, stands accused of murder. Cancer survivor Hannah is helping to build the set for the U.S. Naval Academy's production of Sweeney Todd when a young lieutenant is found brutally murdered. (One corpse too many turns up during the dress rehearsal.) The deceased is none other than Jennifer Goodall, a naval officer and former Academy student of Hannah's husband, Paul. Several years before, Jennifer had accused Paul of sexual harassment, but he was acquitted.

When the evidence points to Hannah as the murderer, the FBI arrests her. To clear her name, Hannah goes a-sleuthing and soon discovers that Jennifer may have made a host of enemies from the fine art of blackmail.

Set in historic and picturesque Annapolis, Maryland, this mystery enthralls with real-life characters coping with the extraordinary circumstances of murder. The mystery behind Jennifer's death is wonderfully puzzling until the author speeds into the exciting conclusion. (Sep., 272 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick