By Chassie West
Avon Mystery  - July 2000
ISBN 0061043893 - Paperback

Mystery / Amateur Sleuth
Nominee, Edgar Award: Best Paperback Original


Reviewed by: Susan McBride, MyShelf.Com
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Leigh Ann Warren is having a very bad day. After a knee injury took her off the streets as a cop in Washington, D.C., she’d headed home to Sunrise, North Carolina, for a little pampering from her foster mother.  Though her visit was good medicine, her trip back to D.C. has some bad side effects.  First, there’s her broken AC on an Indian summer day and then there’s the flat tire. But it doesn’t stop there.  When she returns to her apartment, she finds a very dead man in her kitchen, a corpse that’s soon linked to fellow officer and her ex-fiance, Dillon Upshur Kennedy, better known as Duck.


Only Duck can’t answer any of Leigh Ann’s questions, because it seems he’s disappeared. Oh, yeah, and it just gets worse from there.


Some of Duck’s co-workers think he stole evidence from the scene of a motor vehicle accident that left a drug dealer dead, even surmising that Duck may be involved in drugs himself.  Leigh Ann doesn’t buy it, and she knows Duck better than anyone.  Doesn’t she?  So where was he?  And why had he left her a letter giving her possession of his condo, like he was never coming back.


KILLING KIN has been nominated for a prestigious Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original by the Mystery Writers of America—West was previously nominated for SUNRISE—so I was expecting to enjoy the book before I even cracked it open.  West has a storyteller’s voice that manifests itself perfectly in the character of Leigh Warren, a strong woman who has long since discarded her rose-colored glasses.  The plot was a little tangled for my liking, but the use of language and characterizations alone make this book worth a read.

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