Her foray into French cooking was one type of disaster. But when Claire attempts to give back to her community by volunteering as an ESL tutor with the Farberville Literacy Council, she finds herself railroaded onto the Board of Directors . . . and confronted with an epic to-do list including but not limited to responding to acts of vandalism, fighting charges of embezzlement, and the murder of a female Russian student. Now it’s up to Claire, with the help of her new husband, to solve the brutal crime-one as difficult to translate as the Cyrillic alphabet itself.
Hess has been nominated for the Agatha Award five times, and won once, for her 1990 short story “Too Much to Bare”.
A longtime resident of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Hess now lives in Austin, Texas.
I am a sucker for good cozy mysteries, and Joan Hess’ Claire Malloy series is one of the best. I started at the beginning and have read a good number of the books, but I have missed the last few. I chose Murder As A Second Language for my morning walks and am glad I did. Light and engaging with a main character who is smart, savvy, sassy and a bit sarcastic, this novel kept me laughing and guessing as I racked up the miles. This is the first book I have read since Claire’s marriage to hunky Deputy Chief of Police, Peter Rosen. But not much has really changed; Claire is on her own quite a bit with her daughter Caron’s independent high school activities and Peter’s long hours on a murder case. Claire is especially
nosy inquisitive and inserts herself wherever trouble is. The murder at the Literacy Council with all its feuding board members and international students is puzzling and kept me on my toes. Murder As A Second Language is a fun read, but please note it is not a Christian novel. There is a bit of bad language and adult innuendo.
Recommended for fans of secular cozy mysteries. (There is some bad language and adult situations.)
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(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)