Monday, February 14, 2011

Summer Solstice by Gayle Hayes

When an old woman falls while answering her doorbell at one o'clock in the morning on the SUMMER SOLSTICE of 2010, her niece enters the same orbit as a dangerous and diverse group of people whom she otherwise never would have known.

JAYME BAKER appears to be in her thirties and is attractive, newly divorced, and hopes to write nature stories for children someday. She leaves her "dream job" to become caregiver to her aunt, CORA, in Port Owen, Montana, nestled on the shores of Flathead Lake, a tourist attraction. Jayme meets SHERIFF R. BATES RIGGS on the plane to Montana. He is a disgruntled former FBI agent who is still sexy at fifty-five, plays jazz piano, and photographs wildlife instead of mounting them on his wall. He is the son of a Native American mother and "a high roller from back east by way of Texas who had a good job with the Bureau of Indian Affairs under Eisenhower."

Jayme rides to Port Owen with the sheriff, who loans her his car when he leaves to investigate an accident. This "sensible decision" leads to the first of three crimes where Jayme finds herself a victim of the type of people she has seen only from a distance as a criminal paralegal. Seemingly minor crimes have tragic consequences. The story moves quickly as the crimes and criminals overlap. As companion to the sheriff, Jayme is privy to the investigation of a series of murders. Jayme's attention to detail and analytical mind make her a valuable sidekick. A "quirk" in her personality compels her to follow a good mystery.

If you long for a wholesome, old-fashioned love story with an admirable hero and heroine in believable predicaments and enjoy solving a mystery, SUMMER SOLSTICE will not disappoint.