DANCE OF THE WINNEBAGOS
by Ann Charles
On assignment from her mother, Claire Morgan has the thankless job of keeping her grandfather, Harley Ford, out of trouble. He and his army buddies have been surfing the senior singles sites and convinced a group of potential lady-loves to meet them at the Dancing Winnebago RV Park in Jackrabbit Junction, Arizona for their annual reunion. Traveling with her grandfather and his beagle, Henry Ford, is no picnic. Both males snore, and Claire has learned way more than she ever wanted to know about her grandfather’s love life and medical problems on the trip from South Dakota.
The RV park is owned by Ruby Martino, a widow and favorite of all the campers. Ruby hires Claire to help out in the park store, giving Claire a welcome break from her grandfather, his two friends, their cigars, talk of women, and endless card games of Bid Euchre. She doesn't even mind the periodic tantrums of Ruby's rebellious teenaged daughter, Jess.
But Ruby is up against a bank deadline, fearing she will have to sell the land that surrounds the park to a mining company or go bankrupt. That’s why her geotechnician nephew, MacDonald “Mac” Garner comes from Tuscon for a three-week visit. He is determined to help his Aunt Ruby assess the mining company offer even if she is too proud to accept his offer of a cash loan. Mac vows to see his aunt nets every dime of the land's worth.
The ashes of Claire’s grandmother are scattered on that land, and Claire doesn’t want the site turned into a copper strip mine. She’s determined to help Ruby keep her acreage so mining excavations will never disturb the beautiful valley and ridges where grandmother’s ashes reside.
When Harley's dog digs up a bone that looks like a human femur, Claire wrestles it from the annoyed beagle. That bone is the beginning of a complicated mystery that throws Claire and Mac together, not that either minds, even though they disagree about the best results for Ruby. As the tension heats between Mac and Claire, they find themselves in the cross-hairs of the army threesome. Between her grandfather and his friends, Ruby, and Jess, Claire has given up on privacy. What can she do? As Mac says when the three buddies turn their interest in his direction, “Sometimes it's easier to drown than to fight the undercurrent.” But someone is determined to prevent Mac and Claire from investigating the mines--at any cost. I can’t tell you more without spoiling this terrific cozy mystery.
Please return on Monday when I tell you about another book you'll enjoy if you love history and/or historic mysteries.
Thanks for stopping by!