Thursday 18 August 2022

Book ~ "Heart Trouble" (1996) Mary Kay Andrews (Kathy Hogan Trocheck)

From Goodreads ~ Callahan Garrity has her hands full trying to expand her House Mouse cleaing business. So she's reluctant to take on a client in need of detective services, especially when that client is the most notorious woman in Atlanta - Whitney Albright Dobbs. Whitney is a wealthy socialite who, while under the influence, hit and killed a young black girl and just kept driving.

Whitney's light sentence has set the city's racial tensions on simmer and Callahan is not especially keen on helping track down Whitney's soon-to-be ex-husband's hidden assets. Against her better judgment though, Callahan launches a full-out search for Dr. Dobbs's dollars. But it only takes a glance to see that more than Whitney's alimony is at stake.

Callahan used to be a police officer and changed careers when she bought House Mouse, a cleaning service that she runs with her mother, Edna ... but she still does private investigating on the side.

House Mouse has been asked to bid on a big job but Callahan would have to hire more staff if they won the job and she's having issues trying to find people.  In the meantime, she has been approached to take on an investigation job ... a wealthy woman is in the process of getting divorced and she suspects her soon-to-be ex-husband is hiding his assets and she needs someone to look into it.  Callahan can use the money but the wealthy white woman is one of the most hated women in Atlanta ... she recently ran over and killed a young black girl while under the influence and got away with it because of a technicality. The woman agrees to pay Callahan double her normal rate so Callahan accepts.  On top of all this, Edna is having heart problems so her health isn't great.

The writing was okay, though it could have been edited better as there were words left out. The storyline was more racial-charged than I was expecting and there was a lot going on (too many unimportant side stories like Neva Jean's husband buying emus and Callahan's sister and brother-in-law moving in because they are renovating their house). The ending came quickly and I wasn't buying it. 

It is written in first person perspective in Callahan's voice.  Because it was originally written in the mid 1990s and is set in the mid 1990s (just before the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta) they are still using pay phones, answering machines, cheques, etc. Some of the terms used are now cringe-worthy such as the "N-word" and "coloured" which makes the book seem racist. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

This is the fifth in the Callahan Garrity Mystery Series ... I read the first one in 2018 and recently picked the series back up again.  Though part of a series, it works as a stand alone as there is enough background provided.  It's not a great series but I'm now more than halfway through so I'll keep going to the end.

No comments: