Please welcome back Kaye George with her latest installment of her “Mondays With Kaye” reviews. This week she considers Funerals Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo. This series began with Retirement Can Be Murder published back in January of 2011. The author is also part of the anthology Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing published last year.
Funerals Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo
This is the fifth in the Carol and Jim Andrews Baby Boomer Mystery series. Santangelo doesn’t let up the pace or the humor on this one.
Carol and Jim start out with a domestic, but that’s understandable since Jim is newly retired. Carol does consider, though, that she’s fortunate that she’s not like her friends: Mary Alice is a widow, Nancy’s husband cheats, and Claire is married to a crashing bore.
Since Jim recently had a mild heart problem, and now has a cold, Carol would like him to forego taking care of the lawn. He insults her to the point that she insists she can do it. She manages to start the riding mower, but takes out part of the fence when it gets away from her. Will Finnegan turns up everywhere as the owner of Finnegan’s Rakes. He excellent yard work. He has an excellent physique, too. He turns up just as Carol needs him, luckily, to fix the fence and the yard.
Some of the other neighbors use Will also. However, just as he becomes indispensable, he suddenly dies. Something very odd happens at his wake. Carol and her daughter, Jenny, enter Slumber Room A to pay their respects. They are, however, alone with the body. Which has a pair of scissors sticking out of his chest. Someone hated him enough to mutilate his body after he was very much dead.
Carol romps through the aftermath of Finnegan’s Wake with the help of Lucy and Ethel, psychic dogs who give coded advice on solving puzzles.
Eventually, everyone who was a customer (which seems to be most of the Long Island neighborhood) is a suspect. Will, as well as a lot of other people, have secrets that will be uncovered, if Carol and her crew have anything to say about is.
Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of Death in the Time of Ice for Suspense Magazine