In this new series, Ohio landscape artist Nina Quinn is a likable heroine with a wry sense of humor. Her community is facing a contemporary dilemma—rural farmland is giving way to upscale subdivisions and highways.

When a farmer who refused to sell his land is found dead beside his tractor, his cup of coffee laced with cyanide, Nina decides to find out just how far the local government would go to help the wealthy townsfolk acquire the land. Nina's got other problems too: a cheating husband, a thieving employee and a teenage stepson who's now hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Despite her multiple concerns, the story drags at times, particularly in the beginning, when the book's focus is diffused by the many issues confronting her heroine. Still, Nina is a fresh, welcome addition to the genre. (Jun., 256 pp., $6.50)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison