The Leaf Peeper Murders – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘The lovely Indian summer midmorning sun of Button Hollow, New Hampshire, shown on her when the elderly Mrs. Anne Jolie Watson smelled trouble, literally. She had just begun to water the last of her flower beds when the unwelcome smell of chlorine rose to her nostrils like chemical petals on the wind. She sniffed the air in several directions trying to ascertain from whence the odor wafted. It seemed to permeate the entire front garden although the culprit was nowhere to be seen. She knew that smell. She had read about it in a national newspaper in a story about illegal drug laboratories popping up in the smallest, most unlikely of towns across America. The first clue to the nefarious activities, the story said, was the aroma of chemicals, chlorine being one of the first and most obvious. And chlorine was definitely in the air in Button Hollow. No, she assured herself, there was no mistaking the smell of chlorine. Why, one would have to be a fool not to recognize that illegal substance.’
Mrs. Anne Jolie Watson is a member of the newly instated Citizens’ Brigade set up by Mayor Tom Rutledge, as an attempt to give the Senior Citizens of Button Hollow something to do and feel needed. And there is no one more qualified to be included as a member of the Brigade than Anne Jolie Watson. If you don’t believe me, ask her yourself. Nothing happens in the town of Button Hollow that Anne Jolie doesn’t know about and no one comes into town without her knowing. If by some chance she misses something, she will make it her business to become updated, ahead of anyone else in the town. This is her town and it’s her job to protect it from all wrong doings. Of course, having her nephew as the deputy of Button Hollow helps keep her updated. After all, he’s the one who told her about the two murders in town. One was the town drunk and the other was the town prostitute. Well, it didn’t matter to Anne Jolie what the “profession” of these two citizens happened to be, they were still murdered and she would leave no stone unturned until she found the guilty person that took their lives.
Sheriff Jeff Ramsey has lived in Button Hollow his whole life and knows everyone, including the persistent Mrs. Watson. He really has enough on his hands without adding her help to his problems. Especially when she and another member of the Brigade decide to do a stake-out on the person that Anne Jolie just knows is responsible for all crimes going on in town. So, who will solve the murders first? The Sheriff or Citizens Brigade member Mrs. Anne Jolie Watson?
As I read The Leaf Peeper Murders I couldn’t help but laugh at the antics of Anne Jolie Watson. I feel sure that as you read this book, you too will get a good laugh and it will probably be because you too know someone that is of the same character as Anne Jolie. I know several. Even though this is a murder mystery, it’s still full of humor.