A Hannah Ives Mystery
Dell - August, 2001
ISBN: 0440235200 - Paperback
Amateur sleuth

Reviewed by Susan McBride, MyShelf.com
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In the third Hannah Ives Mystery, OCCASION OF REVENGE, Marcia Talley delves even deeper into the personal life of her protagonist. Poor Hannah. The woman has had breast cancer, lost her mother and now has to deal with her eight months widowed father making plans to marry a floozy named Darlene. Apparently, Darlene has had her share of husbands--three, to be precise--so George will make number four. Neither Hannah nor her sisters are thrilled about the idea. They don't like Darlene and don't like how their father has been drinking too much for his own good.

But their troubles may all be solved when, after a strange (and strained) Christmas party at Darlene's house, the hostess with the mostess turns up dead in her bathtub, apparently poisoned by an overdose of the antihypertensive medication Clonidine. Not only has Darlene been murdered, but George is missing. Hannah is frantic and spends days driving all around Annapolis, searching for him without luck. So did he have something to do with Darlene's death? Or had the murderer gotten him, too?

OCCASION OF REVENGE actually doesn't dwell as much on the mystery (as is becoming a trend, it seems, in some cozier novels) as on Hannah and her family. I really do like Hannah Ives. She's a wonderful character in that she seems real to me, complete with normal everyday problems and emotions. Her concern and love for her confused father is the backbone of the story and kept me reading with interest. Talley has written a wonderful character-driven mystery.

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