“Barbara Petty has written a riveting mystery reminiscent of Psycho. Somewhere, Hitchcock is smiling. And to think, this is just the first of the Thea Browne Mysteries.”
—J.M. LeDuc, author of the Sinclair O’Malley series
“A gripping drama unfolds as Barbara Petty explores the tensions between a woman with Alzheimer’s accused of an unspeakable crime, and her daughter, an investigative reporter determined to clear her mother’s name. Well worth the read.”
—Sheila Lowe, author of the Forensic Handwriting Mystery series
In a small Midwestern town, on a cold, blustery March day, a man plunges to his death off a high, rocky cliff, setting in motion a string of events that lead to murders and rips open the long-hidden secrets of the town’s most prominent family…
The man is George Prentice, and the woman the police suspect of murdering him is his wife, Daphne. But Daphne has Alzheimer’s and, as she is likely to be incompetent to stand trial, has not been arrested.
Daphne’s daughter, Thea Browne, is a trained investigative reporter, who is furious that the police haven’t bothered to look any further for a culprit other than her mother. She suspects her stepfather made enemies when meddling in local politics and, according to one of his cronies, George wrote a memoir threatening to “blow the lid off this town.”
As Thea follows her own investigation, she discovers a widening circle of suspects, some much closer to home than she expected. Even her best friend from childhood, Annie Biggs, seems to be keeping a deep dark secret that she refuses to share with Thea.
More murders push Thea to the point where protecting her mother forces her to put her own life on the line to track down a diabolical killer.
“Thea Browne returns to her small hometown to discover nothing is at it seems. Struggling with the death of her beloved stepfather and her mother’s Alzheimer’s, she becomes caught in a web of intrigue as events from the past lead to danger in the present. A must read.”
—Mike Befeler, author of “Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse” and the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery series
“Petty builds a strong character and supporting actors in this compelling story.”
—Peg Brantley, award finalist for “The Sacrifice”