Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody by Barbara Ross
I simply adore the Main Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross. So when a copy of her Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody, first in her newest series, came across my desk, I knew I had to give it a priority on my ridiculously long reading list.
Fifty plus retired senior, Jane Darrowfield, has a knack for helping folks with their personal problems. Whether someone had an issue with their neighbors, needed help screening potential online dates, needed a background check on their fiancé or help solving other of life’s annoying dilemmas — Jane always provided a surefire fix.
When a friend of a friend recommends Jane to the director of a 55 plus active senior condo community, she discovers her freebie skills now have the potential of becoming an actual paying job.
There’s no peace or harmony in the upscale active senior community of Walden Spring in Concord, Massachusetts. The director, Paul Peavey, is in desperate need of outside intervention and his sights are definitely set on Jane.
Her first thought is to refuse the director’s offer, but the outlandish amount of money he’s willing to pay wins her over – and, after all, how hard could it be to re-instate tranquility into a senior community?
Pretending to be a prospective condo buyer, she’s given free rein of the grounds and community activities – including the chaotic dining hall. It’s there she learns there are more cliques in this community than Zsa Zsa Gabor had husbands!
The tables are full including the “popular kids” table, the “biker” table and the “artists and dancers” table. But instead of folks enjoying their meals, there’s plenty of squabbling. Insults, rude remarks and even threats, flourish. She suddenly feels like Scottie beamed her up and transported her back to high school! Where is Captain Kirk when you really need him?
As Jane continues her snooping, she learns about cheating wives, cheating husbands, potential blackmail and other sorted secrets.
But before she can figure out exactly why there’s been so much aggressive fighting between two of the cliques and why the director was reluctant to intervene, a body is found on the golf course. This ain’t Caddyshack – it’s not alright – the guy is straight up dead – murdered!
As police “step in,” Jane tells the director she wants to “step out” of the whole mess. But director Peavey insists she stay onboard with their original plan to help bring peace and harmony back to Walden Spring.
Again, she reluctantly agrees. But while tackling her original assignment, she’s also finding even more dirt on some of the residents. Could one of them be a cold-blooded killer?
As usual, Barbara Ross hasn’t let us down with this fun new cozy series that’s sure to make you think twice about senior community living! Hats off to Ross – everything she touches is good, solid fun (with a body or two to boot)!
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by publisher.