Fatal Deduction, by Gayle Roper (Multnomah Books, 2008)
Single mom Libby Keating can handle most things life throws at her. Move from suburban New Jersey to Philadelphia? Sure. Trade a cozy bungalow for an elegant historic home for the next few months? No problem. Share said home with her elegant twin, Tori? Help!
If Libby, 13-year-old daughter Chloe, and Tori can meet the terms of Aunt Stella’s will, they’ll inherit a fortune. Too bad the two sisters bring out the worst in one another.
Then Libby trips over a corpse on their doorstep—a corpse with a crossword puzzle note for Tori. What kind of trouble is her high-spending sister in?
Libby finds an ally in handsome single dad Drew, whose daughter becomes best friends with Chloe. Libby and Drew both carry regrets from their pasts, and as they risk sharing their hurts, they help one another.
As the only Christian in a negative and dysfunctional family, Libby works hard on her attitude. She’s miles ahead of me, maturity-wise, but she keeps finding out how much farther she has to grow. She’s human, and her honesty, over-thinking and feistiness make her a memorable character.
Secrets won’t stay hidden in Fatal Deduction. The pressure builds with each crossword puzzle Tori receives. (They’re printed in the book, with answers in the back.) And Tori adds more pressure with her schemes to buy Chloe’s affections.
Fatal Deduction is a feel-good romantic suspense. I liked the crossword puzzle touch, and Libby’s chosen career: finding and restoring other people’s “junk” and selling it as treasures.