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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.