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About the author:
Elaine L. Orr has written fiction and nonfiction for many years and recently introduced the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series. The first four books are Appraisal for Murder, Rekindling Motives, When the Carny Comes to Town, and Any Port in a Storm. She is working on the fifth - Trouble on the Doorstep.
Before writing fiction she worked as a nonfiction writer and editor for public sector and nonprofit organizations. Her fiction varies from mysteries to coming-of-age stories to plays. Her nonfiction includes material on caring for aging parents and carefully researched family history books. Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994. She and her husband, Jim Larkin, live in Indiana. It is largely Jim's poetry that is presented in the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series.
Appraisal for Murder
Jolie (pronounced Zho-Lee, last name Zhan-tee) is a real estate appraiser in New Jersey Beach town whose flexible schedule seems to allow plenty of time for trouble. With a name that translates to "pretty nice" in French (courtesy of her French Canadian father), she's used to teasing, and her embezzler ex-husband taught her more about trouble than she could have imagined. But stumbling across dead bodies in the middle of the work day? That's a new one.
In "Appraisal for Murder," the first book in the series, Jolie moves to Great Aunt Madge's bread and breakfast at the Jersey shore, taking her cat Jazz, and joining Madge's pair of prune-eating dogs. Jolie does not view this as a retreat from her embezzling ex-husband, just a smart change. She had no idea her life was about to get even more complicated.
Jolie settles into the rhythm of late fall in a beach town, but a low-life named Joe Pedone demands that Jolie repay some of her husband's gambling debts and she runs into Michael Riordan, her high school crush -- she's not sure which one is more trouble. Michael's good-looking but arrogant, and when she appraises his mother's house and finds Mrs. Riordan dead in bed Jolie's not sure what to think.
Soon, the mundane work of appraising real estate and dodging suggestions that she go to the ten-year high school reunion become mixed with calls from reporters, scary suggestions from Pedone, and requests that she help the local busybody with First Presbyterian's social services work. Jolie also runs into Scoobie, the high school friend she hung out with most. With his blue jeans and longer hair, he's the antithesis of oil company executive Michael, and usually much easier to be with. His haunting poetry reflects how different his life has been since Jolie knew him.
Jolie balances her fear of Pedone, growing belief that Michael is innocent, and sometimes uneasy friendship with Scoobie. Her growing list of possible murder suspects includes Michael's soon-to-be-ex wife and a couple other beneficiaries of Mrs. Riordan's will. Those suspicions don't include Scoobie, but he makes it to the police department's list. Jolie plots other ways to prove both friends innocent. But will Pedone's plans leave Jolie alive to find the truth?
- Publication Date:
- 148117150X / 9781481171502
- Page Count:
- Binding Type:
- US Trade Paper
- Trim Size:
- 7" x 10"
- Black and White
- Related Categories:
- Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths