The Desert Hedge Murders
Review: The Florida Flippers are on their way to Laughlin (Nevada) for a weekend of fun … and murder … in The Desert Hedge Murders, the second mystery in the Sylvia and Willie series by Patricia Stoltey.
Sixty-year-old Sylvia Thorn, of Miami, agrees to accompany her mother, Kristina Grisseljon, and friends of her travel club on a week-end of fun and scenic tours. The elderly ladies call themselves the "Florida Flippers" because they all are devoted fans of the Miami Dolphins. Just prior to the start of their journey to their next destination, Laughlin, one of the members, Velma Rasher, falls and breaks her hip. One of the Flippers, Sandra Pringle, invites a friend, Patsy Strump, to go as Velma's replacement. Before the ladies can get comfortable in their rooms at the motel, however, Sandra and Patsy yell for help. They have found a fully dressed man lying dead in their bathtub. This incident does not deter most of the women from seeking out the gaming fun at the local casinos. But when the police came to question the ladies, Patsy, Sandra and their rental car are nowhere to be found. Is this just a coincidence or is there a link between the murdered man and Patsy and Sandra? The other ladies decide they will all do a little sleuthing on their own to find their friends.
Meanwhile, Sylvia's brother, Willie, who has experienced moments of clairvoyance since his tour during the war, senses Sylvia is in trouble. He and his dad, Peter, head for Nevada. Between the Nevada police, the Arizona police, the FBI, the Flippers, and now Willie, the hunt for the two missing women and a murderer has turned into a confusing mesh of twists and turns. Soon they're convinced there must be a connection between Patsy and Sandra and the dead man, but a more alarming thought crosses their minds: was Velma's fall actually an accident?
The Desert Hedge Murders is a delightfully amusing mystery. The members of the Flippers are so typical of a group of women their age, each trying to get the first and/or last word in. The author captures to great effect the colors of the modern west in the setting, juxtaposing glitzy casinos with dusty abandoned gold mines. Finally, the murder plot is well developed and provides a good and enjoyable puzzle for the women, and the reader, to solve.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Desert Hedge Murders.
Acknowledgment: Patricia Stoltey provided a copy of The Desert Hedge Murders for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Desert Hedge Murders: Nevada
— ♦ —
The Desert Hedge Murders by Patricia Stoltey — A Sylvia and Willie Mystery
Publisher: Five Star
Publication Date: August 2009
List Price: $25.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites