Archetypal Baby Boomer Outsmarts Police
One suspects that a tremendous lot of suburban female baby boomers will find a bit of themselves in Carol Andrews, the inquisitive but not always tactful central character in Susan Santangelo’s Carol and Jim Andrews Baby Boomer Mystery series. Carol enjoys the occasional sweet (and isn’t every occasion cause to break out the pastry?), knows enough technology to find a good buy on Amazon or a relative's arrest record, loves her adult kids to pieces and always knows what’s best for them—though she is learning to keep it to herself sometimes, dotes on her husband and dogs (not necessarily in that order), and has a circle of friends who may not always agree—or get along—but are devotedly loyal. Oh, did I mention she also has a habit of finding the deceased victims of foul play in the most inconvenient places?
I didn’t think I could agree more with a title than with Santangelo’s Moving Can Be Murder, until I picked up the latest entry in this cozy mystery series, Marriage Can Be Murder. Within its pages are a philandering husband, a possible run-away bride, a promiscuous wedding planner, a happy bride-(and groom)-to-be, a long-suffering husband, an amorous inn-keeper, internet daters, and—what else?—a dead body.
The action centers around Carol’s involvement planning her daughter’s wedding in an unspoken competition with the wedding planner (of course Carol wants greater involvement). Carol, who has been accused of meddling in police matters before, stumbles over said wedding planner’s corpse while visiting a lovely, historic Nantucket inn while on the island scouting locations for the wedding. And it's no surprise that Carol is better than the local constabulary at uncovering clues. Not to be outdone, Carol’s son presents her with his own marriage-related mystery, although he’s not looking for her help to solve his problem.
Between laughing out loud and trying to determine if Susan Santangelo is actually the pen name of someone who knows me a bit too well, I read Marriage Can Be Murder in one sitting simply because I absolutely had to know what was going to happen next. Filled with humor, interesting (mostly likable) characters, and life’s complexities, it’s a winning selection to beat the blues or the blahs.