#COZIES #MYSTERY, #LAURAANDGERRY, #SHERLOCK/HOLMES
The “corpse magnet” is back!
Dead Men Don’t Swing is Karen Vaughan’s bawdy, comedic take on amateur sleuthing. It’s book four in her Laura & Gerry Mystery series. Lots of detective lingo is delivered with wit and sarcasm by the protagonist, Laura. That’s not surprising if you’ve read Vaughan’s previous books in the series, and given the fact that the author has done a bit of stand-up comedy.
In this book, Laura and her husband Gerry are back dealing with another murder investigation since, as Laura explains, she’s a ‘corpse magnet.’ This time a dead body turns up in a dumpster at the apartment complex where Laura and Gerry are managers, having fallen to his death from the balcony above. Not likely an accident—the guy is wearing boxer shorts and sporting a tricked-out stiletto in his forehead. Oh yeah, he’s missing some sensitive body parts—yikes!
Things are not as they seem in this suburban Canadian apartment complex. It turns out there’s a whole lot of hanky-panky going on in this mid-rise Peyton Place, some of it pretty kinky stuff, too. There’s no shortage of pervs and perps on any floor, in addition to the ever-annoying, tenant-from-hell, Stella. As I type the name, I hear Marlon Brando screaming it at the top of his lungs in A Streetcar Named Desire. And, speaking of movies, the photographer played by Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock’s Rear Window, would have been hard-pressed to know where to shoot first with all the action going on in this complex!
Laura, studying to become a CSI, makes the best of the situation and starts racking up the A-pluses as she incorporates aspects of the investigation into her homework assignments. Of course, even an A-student can get into trouble when word gets out about the direction in which her studiousness is leading. Laura is soon stalked, badgered and beleaguered by tenants and non-tenants alike as the ‘serpentine’ [if you read the book you’ll get my choice of words] plot twists put Laura and her husband Gerry to the test.
Will Laura live long enough to get credentialed as a CSI? Will she and Gerry figure out whodunit and why? Will they ever again make that laundry room at the apartment complex a place you might want to wash your clothes? You’ll have to read the book to find the answers to these and other disturbingly funny questions raised by Karen Vaughan in Dead Men Don’t Swing.