Thursday, November 12, 2020

Trouble in Santa Fe (Will Travel for Trouble #16), by Minnie Crockwell (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Minnie Crockwell, October 2020

Having left Diablo Canyon, Minnie and Ben have headed north, Colorado bound, and have stopped for a day or two in Santa Fe, at a rather barebones RV park.

Ben remains frustratingly insubstantial.

Minnie is growing frustrated with the small camper she bought a few months ago, and stubbing her two yet again pushes her to decide to go shopping for a bigger rig. That's how she winds up at Redstone's RV Sales & Service, the only such business in Santa Fe that carries (some) new vehicles as well as used. Owner Carl Redstone is an arrogant, sexist jerk, but he does have at least one rig Minnie wants to look at. She swallows her objections, steps into the rig he's led her to, and squeaks in startled alarm when she sees the man laying on the couch, apparently asleep.

Of course he's not asleep, though he does seem to have died peacefully. The police are called, with some prodding from Minnie, and an ambulance. It turns out the sheriff's deputy is Carl's son--a much nicer person, but it does seem a little awkward. Far more awkward is that after the body is removed, Carl still wants to sell her the RV. Despite the awkwardness, and her dislike of Carl, she does have a certain morbid curiosity about the trailer, so she agrees to take another look, And when he leaves her there unsupervised for a few minutes, she finds a sales receipt from Sadie's Coffee Shop, and, inside the rig's refrigerator, a half-empty cup of coffee from the same coffee shop. Carl returns and startles her, and she drops the cup of coffee she had intended to properly dispose of.

When she tries to clean it up, with paper towels provided by Carl, something badly burns her hands. It's not the room-temperature coffee. At least, not due to the temperature.

Minnie and Ben naturally become very suspicious about how the dead man, Carl's only other salesman, really died. And with her burned hands, she's not going to be able to drive immediately, not for several days the doctor at the urgent care facility says.

It's not long before Minnie and Ben are discovering an impressively complex extended family around Redstone's RV Sales & Service--and most of them seem to have had a motive to kill the dead salesman. Sadie, of Sadie's Coffee Shop, is Carl's estranged wife, and the dead man's lover. His wife believes he had broken it off with Sadie and was not going to divorce her after all. The RV mechanic, Julian, wanted the salesman's job--and so does Julian's wife, Kerry, who is Carl's daughter...but Carl had no intention of giving that job to either of them.

And yes, it was murder, with a toxic substance in the coffee, which also burned Minnie's hands.

At one point, Minnie, in great frustration, asks why she's sticking around and is so involved in this case, when she could have just driven away--and Ben quite reasonably points out that she can't drive till her hands are more recovered, and the medical examiner had wanted to talk to her about how her hands got burned. This time, it's really not just that she's irredeemably nosy!

It's fun, and interesting, and Michelle Babb's narration is excellent as always.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

No comments:

Post a Comment