The seventh Murder 101 mystery, about the reappearance of Alison’s new husband’s former brother-in-law after 10 years, is a must-read for fans. Alison has to deal with a clingy ex-wife as well as being a stepmother to her husband’s twin daughters. The supporting cast of characters including Max, Fred and former priest Kevin, supports her sleuthing.
Professor Alison Bergeron isn’t used to a big family. She especially does not like that the big family is her husband, Bobby’s ex-in-laws. Throwing a party for her stepdaughters’ 19th birthday should be easy, but their long-lost Uncle Chick shows up and gives each of the girls $5,000 in cash. Both Bobby and his ex-wife Christine, Chick’s sister, think that they should return the money. When Bobby and Alison go to see Chick to return the money, they find him barely alive. Another surprise is the $250,000 that the police find in his mattress. After he dies, Christine is convinced that Chick was murdered. As she is involved with another murder, Alison is having personal issues with Max, her best friend, who doesn’t understand her need to get involved. (MINOTAUR, Dec., 336 pp., $24.99)