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Under Lock and Key
The Rona Shively Stories, Book 2

by Rebecca Benston

      Under Lock and Key is an enjoyable, fun book! Rona Shively is a delightful character. I loved her off-beat, quirky personality and her outstanding sense of humor.

Rebecca Benston is a gifted author. Under Lock and Key is a well-written cozy mystery with an intriguing plot. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to others.

Rona Shively is a thirty-eight year old PI in Nevada who hates her job. She's described by most as mouthy and stubborn. She's been seeing her boyfriend, Norm, for about a month now and his presence is beginning to wear on her; she's not sure how she's tolerated his gleeful demeanor for so long. Rona has been on her own for too many years and has never been good at relationships. The "togetherness" is sometimes more than she can bear, and as of late the urge to flee has grown quite strong.

Ted McCafferty hires Rona to find his missing sister, Sally Jacoby. Sally has been missing for a month and Rona thinks it strange Ted is just now hiring her to investigate. It was presumed Sally Jacoby had been killed in a boating accident. This case was big news in the community and Rona doesn't want to get tangled up with the press. She has no problem impersonating them, but she sure doesn't want to have to deal with them. She's ambivalent about involving herself in this high profile case, preferring to remain under the radar of public attention. But since she was behind in paying her rent and her landlord had started the eviction process, she takes the case and the one thousand dollar retainer that comes with it.

Then there's a shooting at Hong Chow's, a well known Chinese restaurant, leaving the owner, Ling Cho dead. Rona's ex-boyfriend Trey Marsden's fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Rona enlists Trey's help in her current investigation, and they find themselves locked in the basement of the high school with a dead body. Not just any dead body, but the dead body that was Rona's prime suspect in Sally Jacoby's disappearance and possible murder.

Rona discovers during this confinement with Trey that she still has feelings for him and is inclined to give him another chance. She also figures out what really happened the day Sally Jacoby fell from her boat.

Trey is cleared of any wrongdoing, as it wasn't his DNA found at the Chinese restaurant murder scene. Turns out that the murderer of Ling Cho was the son of yet another of Rona's clients. No wonder she hates her job.

The Book

July 16, 2007
Cozy Mystery
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The Reviewer

Connie Harris
Reviewed 2007
© 2006