DESERT AUTUMN by Michael Craft
Claire Gray Series, No. 1
Thomas Dunne Books - December
ISBN: 0312280343 - Hardcover
Some Sexual Content

Reviewed by Susan McBride, MyShelf.Com
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DESERT AUTUMN is the first in Michael Craft's new Claire Gray mystery series. Claire is a respected theatre director in New York whose mother keeps nagging her about marriage, though Claire is in her fifties and beyond worrying about tying the knot. She decides a change in her life is due, however, and takes the lucrative offer from a California computer magnate to head the theatre department at his newly built Desert Arts College in Palm Desert. Only Claire is barely settled into her new digs when a colleague's wife is found murdered...heck, Claire's in the kitchen of Paul Huron's house when the discovery occurs.

Feeling something of a stake in what happened--not to mention the fact that some of her colleagues at the college may be suspects--Claire starts to snoop, figuring that a background in theatre and having directed plenty of murder mystery productions makes her as game an amateur detective as anyone.

Though I had things figured out early on, Craft tells a solid amateur sleuth tale with interesting characters and scene descriptions of the breathtaking backdrop of the Sonoran Desert. Looking forward to seeing what's next up Craft's sleeve and hoping he takes us behind the scenes for one of Claire's productions on her new stage (and off-stage with the hunky Tanner Griffin, perhaps).


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