The Belen Hitch
by Pari Noskin Taichert
Category: Fiction / Thriller
296 pages; ISBN: 0826339158
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Belen Hitch
Pari Noskin Taichert
University of New Mexico, Sept 2005, $24.95, 296 pp.
Free lance public relations consultant Sasha Solomon is hired by the New Mexican town of Belen to give her expert opinion on what to do with Harvey House so that it would attract more tourists. One idea is to convert it into an art gallery featuring the paintings of local artist Phillipa Petty. Others want to turn the place into a bed and breakfast with a restaurant. When Sasha arrives in town she drives to Miss Petty’s home only to find the woman dead.
She takes a picture that is near the body featuring her mother, Phillipa and an unknown man without telling the police what she did. Afterward she suffers from a very sore throat, the same affliction suffered by police officers who were at the crime scene. The cops believe that they breathed in something poisonous that also killed Phillipa. Sasha’s mother is recovering from a stroke in a nursing home where someone is trying to kill her by giving her penicillin. Someone is also trying to frighten Sasha away from Belen because she is asking too many questions. She doesn’t realize that the killer won’t mind adding her to the head of the list of people he wants dead.
The first book in this series earned the author an Agatha nomination, but this novel could go one step further. The support cast is made up of quirky characters that add humor to the tense storyline and make readers feel they are reading a family saga inside an amateur sleuth tale. Pari Noskin Taichert creates an atmospheric mystery that will send chills up the readers’ spines.
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