Professor of Passion, the smutty new romance from Mildred Twiller--a.k.a. Azalea Twilight--isn't the kind of book Claire Malloy likes to hock at her bookstore, but Claire agrees to host a book party for her friend's trashy tale. As torrid as the novel is, it's nothing compared to the evening. After the party, poor Mildred is found dead in her home--stranged with a tightly knotted silk scarf. Now it's up to Clair to find Mildred's killer, and it won't be easy--the two-bit author had offended nearly every faculty member she worked with at nearby Faber College. But who could have hated Mildred with such smoldering passion?
Find out in Joan Hess' first Claire Malloy mystery novel Strangled Prose.
Then when one of the attendees dies in a suspicious car accident, Wimple the cat disappears from Claire's home, and Roxanne Small is nowhere to be found, it becomes evident that the murder mystery is more than a literary genre.
Summoned for jury duty, the prosecutor on a murder case, harboring a grudge against her husband, decides to humiliate Claire and dismiss her. Having done so in spectacular enough fashion to make the local news, Claire decides that revenge will be the next dish she serves. She hunts down the defendant in the case, a woman accused of murdering her husband, and offers to help prove her innocence. And not just because Claire wants to humiliate the prosecutor. There are only two problems. One—the defendant is looking guiltier by the minute. And two—the worst day imaginable has finally come: Claire's dreaded new mother-in-law is coming to visit and life in prison is starting to look good.
Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie are finally off to Florida on the vacation they’ve always talked about. Days filled with white sand, turquoise water, and fruity drinks are the only thing on the agenda. But when Gertie’s “hot date” turns up dead and she’s the number one suspect, they’re forced to hang up their bathing suits and shift to investigating mode.
They soon discover that Gertie’s beau was up to all kinds of shady behavior, leaving them with a long list of people who are happy he’s dead. But which one resorted to murder?