by Penny Warner
Category: Fiction / Mystery
240 pages; ISBN: 1880284421
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
In Calaveras County, California everyone expects Dakota Webster to again win the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee except perhaps rival Jeremiah "Miah" Mercer. Dakota's frogs are so good at the event he has become the most famous participant since Mark Twain placed Angels Camp on the map.
However, this year a new champion will be crowned as someone murders Dakota's top gun, Buford the Bullfrog. An outraged Dakota hires private investigator Dan Smith to uncover the identity of the dastardly culprit. Preliminary evidence points towards Miah, who works for Dan's girlfriend, Flat Skunk newspaper publisher Connor Westphal. Back in high school Miah and Dakota were friends, but a falling out has turned them into bitter competitors. Though not quite as serious to the participants and fans as the murder of a champion jumping frog in Calaveras County, a human homicide follows and that brings the law into the investigation. Dan, realizing that Miah is the prime suspect, reevaluates who killed Buford, why, and the link to the other homicide.
The Westphal-Smith mysteries are great tales that are worth reading by genre fans. The latest entry, BLIND SIDE, is exciting and brings to life the leaping contest that makes the county so famous. The recurring cast of eccentric characters are warm, real, and witty. Connor is a great heroine who refuses to allow her deafness to stop her from publishing a newspaper. Dan is a hunk with a brain. The story line is humorous with a serious undertone that will leave fans vocally shouting and in ALS sign "Eureka" in response to the news that Penny Warner has written another winner.
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