QUIETLY DEAD by Laura Belgrave
Claudia Hershey Mystery No. 2
Sliver Dagger Mysteries -- June 2001
ISBN: 1570721724 - Hardcover
ISBN: 1570721734 - Trade Paperback
Police Procedural

Reviewed by Tom Walcher
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Wanda Farr's body is found in the bathtub of her house trailer. Claudia Hershey, a detective with the Indian Run, Florida, police department, is called out to investigate. It seems that Mac Suggs, the police chief, would like this to be considered an accidental death, but Claudia finds some things that just don't seem right so she continues on with the investigation. Soon, the body of Henry Becker, a wealthy old man, is found drowned in a pond. Claudia is busy trying to discover how these two people died and if they were more than just accidents.

There are times when the second book of a series will suffer a letdown from the first, but not in this case. Laura Belgrave continues to develop an interesting group of characters, including Claudia and her daughter, Robin, Chief Suggs and the other members of the Indian Run police department. She adds a new character, Booey Suggs, the nephew of the chief, who is supposed to tag along with Claudia. He happens to be a gadget guru, of which Claudia takes full advantage. I hope to see Booey return in a future novel even though he decides to be a filmmaker instead of a policeman.

This book has the feel of an English village mystery where the reader meets many interesting characters and is trying to solve the mystery at the same time as the detective. The clues are there for the reader if they will catch them.

This, to me, is a perfect Sunday morning bagel-and-tea book, one to sit back and enjoy and forget about the problems of the world. I look forward to the next chapter in the life of Claudia Hershey and feel that you will too.

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