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Valley Fever: Where Murder Is Contagious

Author: Sunny Frazier, Jo Anne Lucas, Cora Ramos
Genre: Crime Fiction
Reviewed by Kevin R. Tipple

"Clear and potent in a crystal glass chilled, A lacing of poison for the next to be killed. A touch of vermouth, more generous with gin- A toast and a promise, let the murders begin." --Murderous Martine by Jo Anne Lucas (Page 11)

10080405As a native Texan, I know a little bit about the thing called summertime heat. It becomes a living oppressive thing all around you that has absolutely no escape. It can make one a little crazy as the days pass in the blinding glare and it might make one crazy enough to commit murder. Apparently, despite the picture postcard perfect image of The San Joaquin Valley in California, the heat there has the same effect. According to these three authors and this enjoyable collection, The Valley has a very violent and dark side.

Broken into five sections titled, "Fine Dining," "Valley Heat," "Stormy Weather," "Deadly Destinations," "Culture & Consequences," and "Holidays Can Be Murder," with a total of 27 stories, this 159 page read features murder and mayhem in various forms. While no two stories were alike, several stories really whet my appetite.

"Too Hot To Handle" by Cora Ramos (Page 37) features Detective Mac Mullain who wants to get out of the heat and into a bar as well as out of Vice. The beer is cold as is the plot he overhears.

"Killer Tan" by Jo Anne Lucas (Page 41) involves a young woman who is more than fed up with Stella, her deceased father's second wife.

"Final Forecast" by Sunny Frazier (Page 72) features a story where everything is blamed on El Nino with good reason.

Each story in this collection from these authors is very good with many of them having a twist at the end. They depict a variety of situations, characters, economic spectrums and lifestyles, with sometimes amusing, and often times chilling results. This is a good one to read and if you are interested in collections, one worthy of your consideration.

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October 28, 2004 in Crime Fiction | Permalink

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