Carol and Jim Andrews are back again in this eighth installment of author Santangelo’s “Every Wife Has a Story” Carol and Jim Andrews Baby Boomer Mystery series. This one entitled “In-Laws Can Be Murder.”
A bit of time has passed since daughter Jenny married Mark Anderson, her best buddy since grade school days, who’s now a detective on the Fairport, Connecticut police force. In fact, as the book opens, Jenny and Mark are recuperating in the birthing suite at the Fairport Hospital, having just produced Carol’s first grandchild, the absolutely perfect for Carlton James. CJ for short. Meanwhile, Carol is meeting up with her BFF’s, Nancy, Claire and Mary Alice at their favorite lunch spot, Maria’s Trattoria, to delightedly show off her cell-phone baby pictures.
Carol has been impatiently waiting for years to finally become a grandmother, so it would seem everything is falling perfectly into place. Of course, nothing in life is every perfect, and the current imperfection is that Carol is not – as she anticipated she would be – the ONLY grandmother. It seems Mark’s mother, Margo, who abandoned her family decades ago, has suddenly reappeared.
And of course, Carol is not good at sharing.
This book generally follows the normal scenario of all Santangelo’s books. That is, someone Carol and Jim knows is murdered, and against Jim and Mark’s advice, Carol gets involved in finding the solution.
However the book is different than the prior seven in that the murder doesn’t happen until two-thirds of the way into the book. Carol is not the person who finds the dead body. Additionally, there is a secondary plot line – actually tertiary, if you count the CJ story line as primary and the murder as secondary. This third theme is opioid addiction, which has become epidemic in this country. I applaud author Santangelo for delving into this issue, and using her plot lines to educate readers about this issue as well.
As with all of Susan Santangelo’s books you’ll thoroughly enjoy this one, especially since all the usual characters – Carol, husband Jim, the dogs Lucy and Ethel, her three best friends, magnificent house, and of course her kids, Mike and Jenny, plus “surrogate kid/son-in-law” Mark Anderson – continue to be part of the story.