Helen Binney projected a powerful image as the former governor's wife, and she's not about to let a little thing like illness force into doing anything less now. While her pushy nieces think she's at death's door, her handsome lawyer friend thinks she's a hot magnet for trouble...and her new gal-pals think she's a brilliant amateur detective! When those new gals give her an interesting project, Helen can't refuse proving her usefulness to the nay-sayers in her life. She quickly dives into investigating the disappearance of a member of their charitable knitting group. But when the yarn trail leads to a husband in denial, a secret bank account, and a shallow grave, it's clear that someone else sees Helen in yet another unflattering light: as a threat that needs to be permanently neutralized! If Helen can keep her wits about her, she may be able to untangle herself from one sticky situation, and catch a killer in the process.
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By Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe on 15-11-17
Detection to ease Helen's boredom
Helen Binney is bored in A Denial of Death by Gin Jones. She can’t seem to find a hobby. Her friends in the senior citizen home have tried to teach her to crochet and knit, but the chemo caps they make for cancer patients just don’t turn out right when Helen tries. Even Helen’s lawyer has a hobby. He turns wood to make legs for tables and lamps. But Helen just can’t find a hobby. Then one day the ladies at the senior center ask her to look into the odd disappearance of a woman who would drop off chemo caps. Angie’s husband, Ralph, doesn’t seem concerned, knowing that his wife has a habit of taking off from time to time, but especially during his summer break in which he’d build something, this time a casino. Getting interested in this case, Helen decides to do her own investigation.
With the help of Jack, her driver friend who is busy trying to help her find a new car, bringing a totally new and widely different model each day, Helen visits everyone who might have known Angie. She learns that Angie is known for being a totally abrasive person whom no one likes, but something makes Helen forge ahead in her search for the missing woman. Angie’s sister, Charlene, drove Angie to a casino, so Helen decides that is where she must go. Asking legal advice from Tate, the retired lawyer who has set up shop turning wood, she has to make a case sound interesting to get him involved. But the visit to the casino catches Tate’s interest do he can play poker. But beyond learning that Angie has been there, Helen learns nothing.
This book was an enjoyable read, with good characterizations. I really enjoyed the daily changes of cars, as Jack’s cousin tries so hard to find the ideal car for Helen. The development of the relationships between Helen and Jack and Helen and Tate were fun to watch.
I noticed that several reviewers on Amazon criticized the book for making a 45-year-old woman seem old, as she uses a cane and has a bad hip. What these people neglect to notice is that Helen suffers from lupus, a degenerative autoimmune disease that will cause a person to suffer as Helen does. So this part of the book is not nearly as unrealistic as the reviewers seemed to think.
Lisa Valdini narrates the book in a strong voice. I like the way she so clearly makes the characters come to life. Her voice for Jack seems so realistic, and Tate seems so believable.
I enjoyed A Denial of Death. The mystery was interesting but not gripping. It’s a good book for when you need to relax. I give this book four stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author, but it in no way affected my review.