Fractured Families: A Lottie Albright Mystery

Poisoned Pen. Mar. 2017. 294p. ISBN 9781464205613. $26.95; pap. ISBN 9781464205637. $15.95. M
A gruesome discovery confronts historian-turned-undersheriff Lottie Albright in Hinger's chilling fourth Kansas-set outing (after Hidden Heritage). Making the transition from scholar to crime fighter, as the Northwestern Kansas regional police center takes shape, was meant to be a gradual process. Instead, Lottie, along with her husband's aunt Dorothy, a visiting Manhattan mystery writer, are immediately plunged into a murder inquiry. The pair find the body of a young man in a Civil War-era mausoleum, and that's not even the most disturbing part: perched on a nearby statue is a baby's corpse. Lottie calls in the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, although it's clear that she's going to be in charge of the case. As experts assemble, clinical psychologist Josie Albright, who has helped her twin sister in previous books, arrives, and it's a good thing, since another baby's lifeless body is found. As Lottie and Dorothy probe, they uncover an older case with parallels to the current investigation.
VERDICT Featuring a crime spree and a murderer, both as cold as the Midwestern winter setting, this whodunit will burn like frostbite.

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