Monday, June 2, 2008

Fool on the Hill: A Tess Camillo Mystery; by Morgan Hunt

ISBN: 9781593500276 - Alyson Books
Reviewed by Cherie Fisher for Reader Views (3/08)

Criminitlies!  Author Morgan Hunt does it again with another excellent Tess Camillo Mystery.  This book follows Hunt's first Tess Camillo story "Sticky Fingers" and it is just as good, if not better.  The story is fast paced and packed full of grisly murder, intrigue and humor. 

Middle aged Tess Camillo has recovered from breast cancer and has a new clarity on life.  She lives more in the moment now and is not as fearful since her previous close call with death in "Sticky Fingers".  In this story, she still lives with her housemate Lana and her main confidante, Raj, her Welsh Terrier.  You do not need to read "Sticky Fingers" to read this mystery, but it is a great read and I would highly recommend reading it.   
The story begins when Tess and Lana attend a Cody Crowne concert.  Cody was a popular musician from the 80's and is now an opening band for a larger act.  Things go South after the concert.  Unknown to anyone else, Cody is attacked and kidnapped.   The next day when Tess goes for a walk in one of favorite spots in a park, she is horrified to find Cody crucified.  As the grisly details of his death are revealed, she and Lana are so disturbed by what has occurred she decides to take a leave of absence from work to try to solve the murder. 

This adventure brings more than Tess bargained for as she sharpens her amateur detective skills and meets a cast of motley and potentially dangerous characters.  As the danger and intrigue grow Tess is pleasantly surprised to meet her first love interest since her breast cancer surgery.  Nervous about having to reveal her mastectomy to a lover for the first time, Tess finds the confidence to overcome her reluctance.   

The ending brings a dangerous and surprising twist when Tess figures out who done it and she and Lana try to get proof to give to the police.  Overall, I found this story to be very well written.  It is a great book for those who enjoy the mystery genre.  The main character is a lesbian, but the book is written for all audiences.  Hopefully we will see more of Tess Camillo in the future. 

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