Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Blue Coyote (Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries #2), by Karen Musser Nortman (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Karen Nortman, June 2016

Larry and Frannie Shoemaker are off on another of their camping adventures with friends, and their two grandchildren, Sabet and Joe, are with them. All seems well except for a little girl who rides her bicycle with very noisy training wheels that drive Larry crazy--until that very girl disappears, right after complaining to another camper that Larry frightened her.

Suddenly Larry, a grandfather and retired police officer, is in the minds of many of their fellow campers the prime suspect in a child's disappearance.

Frannie just can't leave the investigation to the police, and soon she has their friends, Mickey and Jane-Ann, involved in the search as well. With clues pointing in several directions, and the missing girl's frightened mother having latched onto Larry as, at least, her prime suspect, it's only a partial comfort when a familiar face from a previous adventure turns up to lead the official investigation.

Overall, this is a good, strong mystery, with nicely developed characters who are likable and engaging. There's some reference to past events, but that acts to give the characters more depth without making it necessary to read the previous book first. It is unfortunate that, early on, a critical event depends on one character acting decidedly out of character. It's commented on at the time, and never really accounted for. Regardless, though, it's still an excellent story. The icing on the cake for this audio version is the narrator; Michelle Babb has a voice that's both pleasant and strong, capable of cutting through road noise effectively for those of us who listen to books in our cars!

Recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook and am reviewing it voluntarily.