Five Star/Gale, Cengage, 2016, 328 pp., $25.95
Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, 2019, 360 pp., $7.99
Former CIA covert operative Phoenix Smith establishes a foundation to serve crime victims in her small Missouri hometown. She receives a compelling request from a woman claiming that her daughter went to prison for murder and arson after giving a false confession. Phoenix agrees to consider the case even though the sheriff at the time was the husband of her best friend, Acting Sheriff Annalynn Carr Keyser. Proving him wrong would be a blow to Annalynn.
Connie Diamante, a struggling musical Jill-of-all-trades, insists on helping Phoenix investigate in the hope they can disprove the claim and never have to tell Annalynn about it. Unfortunately, their investigation raises more and more questions.
At the same time, Annalynn enlists Phoenix and Achilles, her K-9 dropout, to pick up the trail of an increasingly vicious burglar. When someone tries to eliminate Achilles and then Phoenix, she can’t figure out the source of the danger.
Working secretly on separate cases with Connie and with Annalynn, Phoenix feels trapped in the middle. She’s forced to recognize that three heads are better than two.
Amazon: used copies