Published: December 13, 2013
Format: ebook (260 pages)
Series: A Portrait of Crime Mystery
Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)
***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***
Hobo has disappeared on Harper Farms, and even though Hobo is a dog not a ghost, Rory McCain is worried. The otherworldliness of her life is enough to make anyone crazy, but she’s gotten used to it, sort of. But Hobo is somewhere loose on a working farm on a cold November day and could get hurt or worse.
Soon, Rory’s delight in finding the dog was outmatched by the dog that was all over her despite his recent mud bath with the pigs. After the embarrassing incident, she had the pleasure of bumping back into the man who had just hired her private detective agency for a case of industrial farm espionage.
Gil Harper was a man who held money as no object in solving this case and whose loyalty didn’t protect his family. Rory was told to investigate everyone, including all of his family members, and Gil openly declared his belief that anyone of them could be the culprit. She was already racing the clock when she had another race with Hobo. This stinky mud covered creature didn’t weave back to the love of his life in the pigpen, but instead he dove into the corn maze. She had managed to keep up and maintain a slight hold upon his leash until she stumbled. Now, her dog was lost again.
She tried to follow the sounds of Hobo’s insistent barking which seemed to be deflected by their current environment.
Meanwhile, Hobo’s noise was akin to an alert that went viral for trouble. Almost lost inside the maze, she was finally able to track her dog, but trouble wasn’t all he found.
Now, how was she going to explain another dead body in her presence? Her friend, Leah, is still with the police and doesn’t treat her as a traitor for leaving the PD, but this isn’t how most of them feel. Let’s just say professional courtesy isn’t usually extended to private detectives anyway, but a stranger in town would garner more than an ex police officer in this town.
Maybe all wasn’t lost. If this man on the ground had a pulse, all she’d have to do was call in an emergency. Rory knelt and was able to quickly determine a coroner’s wagon would outweigh the chance an ambulance would suffice, and Rory and ghost partner Zeke had more than one case to solve. However, her ghostly partner wasn’t the easiest to work with, on many occasions.
Picture an 18th century Western Federal Marshal working with a modern woman. Got that picture? Okay, now add to that having to make sure when this said partner disappears, he’s not up to something that the living can see. Yeah, Rory’s only problem on this case wasn’t going to be the cold shoulder of the police department.
She couldn’t leave the dead man here, right? No. She did what any civic-minded citizen would do. She called her best friend at the police department. Suddenly, the disembodied voice of her partner accused her of creating more trouble, but when she turned, Zeke was here in person, wearing the duds from yesteryear looking like anyone else. Yeah, this was going to mean trouble for sure.
Sharon Pape’s SKETCHER IN THE RYE a cozy mystery wrapped inside a ghost story that will keep you turning pages!
I enjoyed sleuthing with Rory McCain. She is a former police sketch artist with a penchant for murder, crime, and ghosts, but she is able to draw the who, discover the why, and prove it all too. Zeke is a Federal Marshal and a character all to himself. However, his ghostly image becomes human through his story too. He’s a man who has solved murders, put away the criminals, and loved. He is also a man who lost his love before he lost his life.
These two detectives make an exceptional tag team in crime, but their backgrounds can add some problems in the mix.
SKETCHER IN THE RYE by Sharon Pape takes us inside her great family ties, some growing pains, and more than a few family dysfunctional situations to solve a crime, save a life, and discover who did it. However, you’ll just find yourself wanting to read more of her titles in this series, SKETCH ME IF YOU CAN (Berkley 2010), TO SKETCH A THIEF (Berkley 2011), and SKETCH A FALLING STAR (Berkley 2012).