Radine Trees Nehring is a journalist and author who writes for any occasion, be it a radio news show, a magazine story, a news story, or her second mystery. Her first mystery is entitled SOMTHING TO DIE FOR. Radine is a resident of Arkansas, and understands its rich culture and traditions.
Carrie McCrite is about as unlike a detective as a heroine can be. She goes to a tourism convention at the Ozark Folk Center State Park and decides to get involved when her charges, a famous country singing duo, Chase Mason and Tracy Teal, are pulled into murder and the kidnapping of their little girl. Dulcey has disappeared; Tracy's cousin, Farel Teal, is dead with a pair of scissors stuck in his chest, and Tracy is a basket case:
"`I didn't pay any attention to who ran past me. Whoever it was went toward the auditorium real fast. There was no way to tell. It was dark...and anyway, there was Farel...' `But did you see that it was a man?' Tracy stared wide-eyed at Carrie and didn't answer."
There is something awfully tantalizing about a dark, moonlit night, a Southern setting, and country music. This backdrop is sparked by romance, family feuds, and the compelling feeling of having to rescue a little girl in distress. Nehring's characters spark a plot that is easily carried by a situation that branches out into one heck of a puzzler. Nothing is as it seems, evidenced by a crooning woman called Mad Margaret, who turns in a fine performance.
Carrie McCrite is down to earth, but not above a little romance with her best friend ex-cop Henry King, who charges in to the rescue at just the right moment. Nehring's action and denouement usually involve poor Carrie ruining what clothes she is in, getting bumped on the head, or scratched by vicious branches. But in the end all turns out for the best, leaving the reader sighing in satisfaction, just as if I'd indulged in a piece of either apply or peach chunky; as Nehring thoughtfully provides recipes for each at the end of this sweet and tender tale.