MYSTERY

Poplar Falls: The Death of Charlie Baker

Artemesia. Mar. 2019. 212p. ISBN 9781932926682. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781932926705. M
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The murder of former porn star Charlie Baker leaves everyone in Poplar Falls astonished, even police detectives Franklin Dodge and Roxanne Tilley. From the moment his body is discovered bound and spread-eagled on the bed, gossip spreads around town. While the police and the small CSI team investigate footage of Charlie's many sexual encounters, the women who were close to him mourn. Indeed, the Naughty Knitters Club, a therapy group for sex addicts, has plenty to discuss. There's the day care owner who was one of Charlie's lovers, and her gay husband, and a female realtor who is interested in any attractive women, including Tilley. Even the police harbor secrets as they struggle with two cases now, Baker's death and the Panty Bandit they failed to catch two months ago.
VERDICT The author of Dark Tales for Dark Nights claims he wrote this book for those who don't like scary stories. But readers who expect a police procedural will be surprised to find a town filled with sex addicts and scandalous behavior. Only for mystery fans with a sense of humor and a penchant for extensive sexual content.

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