Widow Cornelia Upshaw lives a simple life in Manhattan as a secretary for a temp agency. Her latest assignment is at Dayborne Ventures, where she temps for difficult employer Abe Davis. Apparently Cornelia wasn't the only one who thought so, because one day she finds him dead in his office, though his door had been locked all day. Soon Cornelia is engaging in some amateur sleuthing to help police.

Amid the trials of working near a crime scene, Cornelia meets handsome homicide detective Victor Kosciusko. Romance sparks between the pair and adds levity to the murder investigation, which has plenty of suspects: Davis' executive secretary, the very perfect Fran, who takes her mourning to extreme, continuing to only wear black, and Davis' trophy wife, Brittany, who shows up to demand the return of Davis' missing checkbook and leaves her spaniel in Cornelia's care.

A true whodunit, Edghill's cozy, written in first person, is as entertaining for its suspense as for its lighthearted humor. Cornelia's ability to poke fun at her Southern belle heritage amuses in this top-rate novel. (Dec. '04, 206 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick