Crime: Philly, L.A., France and back

August 12, 2007|By Sarah Weinman | Sarah Weinman,Special to The Sun

Merciless

By Richard Montanari

The Day Will Come

By Judy Clemens

Poisoned Pen Press / 234 pages / $24.95

Stella Crown is not your typical farming lass - not when she owns a Harley and goes to see rock music as often as she can. The latter interest forms the backbone of her fourth appearance, equal parts traditional mystery and nuanced portrayal of the power of love and friendship to elevate and destroy. Stella drives into Philadelphia to catch the appearance of the Tom Copper Band and spend time with her friends Lucy and Lenny, due to be married the following week. But a strong opening half is marred by a bomb threat that turns into a murder scene when the body of the band's lead singer is discovered - and Stella's other friend, sound effects man Jordan Granger, is suspected of the crime when the police discover his romantic relationship with the already-attached Genna. As Stella does her best to discover the truth and get Jordan off the suspect list, her own long-distance relationship with her friend Nick is tested first by what he doesn't say, then by what he reveals - leaving the tough but tender Stella to fight for what she really wants in love and in life.

Sarah Weinman reviews crime fiction every month for The Sun. Visit her at www.sarahweinman.com.

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