Archive for 'Shaw, June'
RELATIVE DANGER is the first book about Cealie Gunther. Cealie is a widowed grandmother who decided she was getting stodgy and made changes to liven up her life. She has been traveling and having a little romance with Cajun restauranteur Gil Thurman. But now she has come back home to watch her granddaughter Kat graduate from High School. When she arrives, she discovers her widowed son is still completely absorbed in his grief and has no idea that something is very wrong with Kat.
Kat, in fact, tells her grandmother that she hasn’t been attending classes at school – a janitor was recently murdered and his death has upset the relationship between Kat and her favorite teacher, who is suspected of the crime. Certain she isn’t getting the whole story and unsure where to turn to find help for Kat, Cealie volunteers as a substitute teacher at the school to try to find out exactly what has caused such a radical change in her granddaughter.
Many books feature an interfering parent as a minor character, usually for comic relief. RELATIVE DANGER, on the other hand, has the meddling parent/grandparent as the main character and this makes an interesting change. Cealie doesn’t hesitate to infiltrate her granddaughter’s school, quiz her classmates about her, and draw attention to herself and to Kat in ways that would cause the complete mortification of any teenager.
Personally, I have never been drawn to meddlesome detectives. Although Cealie’s motivation is good, she is a tremendously self-centered character who interprets the world around her to suit her needs. She complains that the students at the school have no manners, but feels no remorse when she leaves a restaurant without paying her check when Gil makes her angry. Fans of Agatha Raisin will probably feel right at home with Cealie.
Favorite character? Gil, the long-suffering restaurant owner. Did I guess it? No. Will I read another? Perhaps. Cealie’s future adventures will involve her traveling the country to visit her far-flung relatives and solve the problems they are facing. And I like that premise, but Cealie doesn’t seem to be my style of detective.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com ©2007