A Stella Crown Mystery by Judy Clemens
Review: Women working in positions historically held by men, including a close friend of dairy farmer Stella Crown, are being targeted by an unknown assailant in rural Pennsylvania in Different Paths, the fifth mystery in this series by Judy Clemens.
The loves of Stella's life include Nick, her boyfriend who has recently been diagnosed with MS, her friends, her cow farm, and her Harley bike. But trouble has once again come to her picturesque little town. Dr. Carla Beaumont, the town's veterinarian and Stella's close friend, is brutally beaten and her truck containing medicines hijacked. Reverend Katherine Hershberger, recently hired over a male candidate, as the minister of a Mennonite Church, finds her office ransacked, and many papers and icons destroyed. Dr. Rachel Peterson, a local physician taking over her retired father's practice, is found murdered in her office with cabinets opened and papers trashed. Stella believes the actions are related and is concerned that she, being a woman farmer, could be next on the list.
The police, however, are going under the assumption that drugs are involved. But since the attacker showed aggression against the female minister, Stella believes her impression of the events is more logical. Though Nick arrives from his home in West Virginia to help protect her, Stella isn't sure that's enough. So she sets out to find the assailant before he, or she, can do any damage to her, her farm, or the two women who help her run it.
An obvious suspect is Carla's new boyfriend, Bryan. Stella thinks him devious and mean and more than capable of committing the crimes. But how can she investigate Bryan without offending Carla?
Stella Crown is a delightful, clever, and endearing amateur sleuth, and Different Paths is at its heart a story of close friendships in a small community and how important they are during good times and bad. It's also a story of love and hate, and how one can love yet also hate. It's both funny and sad, and, by the way, it's a very good mystery.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Different Paths.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Different Paths for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Day Will Come
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), August 2007
ISBN-13: 9781590582992; ISBN-10: 1590582993
Embrace the Grim Reaper
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), May 2009
ISBN-13: 9781590585894; ISBN-10: 1590585895
Location(s) referenced in Different Paths: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Different Paths by Judy Clemens — A Stella Crown Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: September 2008
List Price: $24.95