Dead Crazy Mass Market Paperback – Jun 1989
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From Publishers Weekly
Last seen in Marriage Is Murder , Jenny Cain, goodhearted but admirably disciplined director of the Port Frederick, Mass., Civic Foundation, skillfully utilizes intuition and steely nerves to solve two brutal slayings. When MaryDell Paine, wealthy and pompous do-gooder, appeals to the foundation for funds to renovate an old church basement as a recreation hall for former mental patients, it quickly becomes apparent that her altruism is tempered with urgent need. Her brother Kitt, a paranoid schizophrenic, has become a drain on the family's patience and finances. Jenny finds the site to be ideal, and begins to canvass the area, discovering a number of neighbors whose bizarre reactions to the renovation both provoke and intrigue her. When one of the neighbors is found slashed to death in the basement, suspicion falls on Kitt, and when another homeowner is discovered murdered in her living room, the search for Kitt intensifies, bringing Jenny into close cooperation with the able local police. A well-controlled sense of the absurd runs beneath the surface of the narrative, and Pickard is also deft at sharply rendering her characters' strong personalities. The plot eventually widens to include extortion and blackmail, all adeptly ferreted out by Jenny, as independent and imaginative as ever in her fifth mystery.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The characters are believable, the book is well-paced and the killer is a surprise (I thought I had it figured out for about half the book, but ... I was wrong).
In DEAD CRAZY Jenny is moving the foundation toward supporting the establishment of a recreational center for former mental patients. Of course, NIMBY kicks in. (Not in My Backyard). One thing leads to another and in spite of numerous protestations to the effect that none of "these people" would harm a fly, an ex-patient is found slashed to death in the recreational center-to-be. All the evidence points to another ex mental patient. Usually you'd expect the local police to handle things, but since the foundation is involved and because Jenny herself is involved with Geoffrey Bush, ranking member of the local constabulary, and because she's now sold on the idea of supporting the center, well. . .
This mystery novel puts forward author Pickard's authoritative blend of characteristics for her protagonist. She surrounds Jenny with interesting, intriguing characters in a fresh setting. Then she carries the reader forward in a kind of jaunty, straightforward way to a logical, satisfying conclusion. What more could a reader ask?