Early's Pride Paperback – Nov 15 2002
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But, before he can get the ball rolling downhill too fast to stop, Rick is found dead in his hotel room. Other than the fact that he is fully dressed as well as wet, there are few clues for the local Police to work with. While they mean well, they are clearly overmatched in this case, which is just the latest in a string off odd events and death for the local citizenry. Councilwoman Joyce Fellmeyer realizes that they need help and her old friend retired Homicide Detective Brady Kincaid would be just the man to help.
She convinces a local star reporter, Geraldine Pozy, that Brady could come in to town on a press pass and act as a consultant to the local paper while he works on the case. Geraldine is always on the lookout for a good story and sees her point. To do so would allow him to unofficially help the Police, clear the case, and provide source material for Geraldine.
Geraldine agrees as does a very bored Brady and soon the two are working the case from their perspective angels of expertise. It becomes clear that the Police effort, well meaning but woefully lacking, extends beyond this case. The death of Rick is definitely linked to other deaths as well as various odd happenings about town.
As in most cozy type mysteries, the action in this novel is very limited as compared to the traditional mystery. The novel relies primarily on character development and sleuthing through question and comparing suspects, to move the story slowly forward. The list of suspects is very long and the trail often confusing as so many of the citizens are far different than what they appear to be everyday. Despite the lack of action, the story is very entertaining and the novel is a fine example of what can be done with a cozy type of mystery.
Once again we meet Joyce Fellmeyer and Brady Kincaid. Brady,a retired police detective, is chief of security at Lombardy Teachers College where Joyce's cousin Claudia Packer is Dean of Women. In Ms Allen's first book Every First Saturday these three solve a murder on campus.
When murder strikes in Joyce's city of Early, she calls on Brady to help solve the crime. Early is in the middle of a rezoning fight , with Rick Cameo heavily in favor of rezoning. When he is found murdered it throws the whole city in an uproar.
Working with Brady Kincaid is the heroine of the story. Geraldine Pozy works as a reporter for the Early Eagle newspaper and is described as a hefty young woman given to wearing flannel shirts and no make-up. But when romance enters her life in the form of a giant of a man, Lincoln Henderson , who is in the process of developing the Hotel Erin into luxury condos, Geraldine manages to lose fifteen pounds by the end of the book.
Ms Allen makes good use of Geraldine's interview with the murderer in the epilogue, to tie up a few loose ends. It did leave me wondering if the villian would get off by pleading insanity.
I was amused by the names of some of the characters ,which I had never before heard of. Mayor Korndoktor, councilman Longdorfer and officer Bebout for example. My apologies for smiling to anyone with those names. Several of her expressions were unique. Gee-zus Kee-zus, Drinkey-Winkey and Oh,Piddle-dee-dee certainly added flavor to the mix.
Having read Ms Allen's first book , I can feel the improvement in her writing style with Early's Pride. I look forward to reading her next book where I expect to meet up with Brady Kincaid once again.
The local police assigned to the case, Newkirk and Bebout care, but homicide is out of their league. Councilwoman Geraldine Perry arranges for retired Cleveland homicide detective Brady Kincaid to work as a consultant for the Earl Eagle newspaper and its crack reporter Geraldine Pozy. The local officers are elated to have a person with Kincaid's experience to guide them on the case especially when he believes there is a link to the double murders of Gerald and Marian Sevrall, the latter a member of the council. However, even with Geraldine's help, the clues fail to add up, but Brady keeps digging because that is his nature.
Bobby Jaye Allen should feel proud of this delightful investigative tale that brings to life home in a small Michigan town during the Christmas week. The story line will hook the audience as one cannot help but like the patient sensitive Brady and the in your face yet reticent Geraldine. Though some may disagree, adding to the fun is that this pair does not walk out into the sunset together. The who-done-it fans will provide plenty of accolades to the author for a wonderful tale.