Mainly Murder Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-615-29011-9.
Reviewed by Trilla Pando
Posted on 01/03/2010
Kris Langley has a journalist's instinct and that instinct senses a story. A novice editorial assistant on a small town Massachusetts daily Kris's duties are the boring ones. She writes the obituaries and comes up with items for the "Twenty-Five Years Ago Today" column. That's when her instinct comes into play. When she reads about the long ago murder of a young woman and learns from her editor-in-chief that the mystery was never solved, she can't leave it alone. She launches her own investigation without telling the overbearing and critical managing editor, Jacqueline McCormack (Kris thinks of her as "corporate Barbie") who surely would tell her to back off.
As Kris gets more involved in her investigation, she begins to relive her own personal tragedy—the murder of her cousin and dear friend years before. Kris has always felt, but never spoken of her feelings of guilt because the two had quarreled and parted on that sad afternoon. The memories come alive as she investigates and becomes involved with the family of the girl in the story.
Things get complicated fast. Kris's own conflicted family doesn't think much of her journalistic endeavors, and her doctor mother and sister let her know. She finds a new romantic interest and won't let her story alone no matter the cost.
Stacy Juba has drawn a believable character and settings. The newspaper scenes are so real I could almost smell the ink—and feel the animosity between Kris and Bruce, the pushy crime reporter who'd like to see Kris on a date but not nosing into his territory.
Kris manages to get herself fired, but after she figures things out, she gets back her job, and we can assume (and maybe hope?) she's ready for another crime-laden reporting adventure.
Journalist Stacy Juba knows well what she's writing about, she was a long-time reporter whose first book, Face-Off, for young adults, was published when she was eighteen. Today she concentrates on free-lance journalism and writing more murder mysteries. She lives in New England. Visit her and learn more about what happened twenty-five years ago this day on her website.
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