Title: Tippy Toe Murder
Author: Leslie Meier
Publisher: Kensington Mystery - Partners in Crime
Copyright Date: 1994
Print Date: October 1996
Series: 2nd Lucy Stone Mystery
Book Description (from back cover):
With three kids underfoot, a fourth on the way, and an oppressive heatwave bearing down, homemaker Lucy Stone is hardly enjoying an idyllic summer. But her preoccupation with swelling ankles, Bavarian creme doughnut cravings, and sewing endless sequins on ballet recital tutus gives way to dread when Lucy learns that her waistline isn't the only thing that's recently vanished from Tinker's Cove...
The strange dissapearance of a retired dance instructor has teh tiny coastal town in a tizzy that turns to terror when the notoriously cantankerous shopkeeper is slain right on Main Street. Now Lucy's up to her bulging belly in local suspects and red herrings. Eluded by a cold-blooded killer, with her due-date looming and thermometer soaring, Lucy figures something has to break soon. With any luck, it won't be her water...
First, a note: Cozies in general (this one included) are not very gory or graphic. However, this does have some discussion of domestic abuse and includes one particularly sickening sentence about sexual abuse of an infant. Something for anyone sensitive about such issues to keep in mind.
Anyway... it took me a while to finally start this, but once I did I found it to be an enjoyable story. Each chapter starts with a line of the "pink slip" of instruction to parents regarding what preparation should be made for their children's ballet recitals. Lucy has two mysteries pulling at her. A missing person and a murder. And that's on top of being a mother and wife to a very active family (not to mention 6 months pregnant).
I think the author improved between her Mistletoe Murder and Tippy Toe Murder so I figure there will be even more improvement in her writing over the next 14+ books in the series. I'll be reading the 3rd book in the series, Trick or Treat Murder semi-soon.