Caught In A Bind is book three in this delightful series. As usual, Merrilee Kramer is lively, cute as a button, and full of endearing foibles. But the reason I HIGHLY recommend this book is the subtheme that looks into domestic violence. At one point tears sprang to my eyse, when a usually disrespectful teenage boy (who himself had been brought up in a home filled with violence) puts his arms around two little tikes just rescued from a scene where there mom was beaten to a pulp and comforts them.
The “who-dun’it” part is well written. The reader can’t firgure out, and has to wait till the end to find out why dead bodies are being dumped in cars. The book opens with a bang! The husband of Merry’s coworker, Edie Whatley, has gone missing along with $18,000, the price of the economy car which he just sold to an elderly couple for cash. The police believe he’s a thief. Merry and Edie know he’s not and are worried about him. To make matters worse, Merry’s job, as well as those of the entire crew at the news might be in jeopardy. The new owner of the paper has not made it known if he’ll keep the paper open. And the new owner’s sophisticated daughter, Delia is after Curt, Merry’s boyfriend. Delia owns a posh art gallery and is offering painter Curt Carlyle an exhibit and introductions to art bigwigs in New York City. This is something Merry can’t compete with, or so she thinks.
The plot keeps roiling and boiling until the end when all is revealed. Merry winds up running down a street as a speeding car tries to run her over. Author Gayle Roper returns again and again to the idea of “chosing well,” as Merry tells herself she may not have control of circumstances, but she can chose how she will respond to those circumstances. The book is witty, an intriguing mystery, a charming romp, and yet has incredible depth.