May 17, 2022

‘Overkill: An Emma Streat Mystery’ By Eugenia Lovett West

Jennifer Petty Mann grew up in New York City, moved to London, England, then back to Boston, and is now happily ensconced on the EightMile river in Lyme with three little ones.  A former teacher, window dresser for Saks, and designer, she is taking her love of books to the proverbial “street.” 

Without Warning (Stripped) is the first book.  Overkillis the second and a third is in the works.

Remember Emma Streat? ( review 5/03/08 ).  The woman who left the world of opera to arrange her Quimper china in blissful married motherhood?  She has come a long way since the brutal murder of her husband and her consequent forays into the world of death and espionage.

Her new life is keeping her on her proverbial toes as well.  Thank goodness she is sharp as a tack.  No little coup de foudre will send her scurrying under the bedcovers.

An intervention for her talented, but foolhardy, famous niece sends Emma to Venice.  A playboy has come between her niece and her music, which is not acceptable.

Not only does Emma have to nip the romance in the bud, but she ends up ensnared in chemical machinations as well.  Germ warfare won’t even be the least of her worries when her romance gets confused as well.  Is the new doctor a threat to our English favorite Lord Rodale?  Who will she choose?  If Will she even live to make the decision?

Does red wine ever come out?  How is the Ritz in Boston as a home away from home?  How will we know if Emma doesn’t beat us to it? ( … it has nothing on the Hyde Park Hotel, but that’s another story…)

West is a very good juggler of the mundane and the outrageous.  In Emma’s hands they hold equal play. Terrorist warfare or soup for lunch?  Which toile would look good in a weekend house, especially if it needs to cover bloodstains?

As with West’s first book, Overkill is a treat.  Emma is so likable that it almost wouldn’t matter if there were a good plot to swoop her along or not.  As an added bonus, the plot is so engrossing it is hardly significant whether or not you like Emma.  This is how the murder mystery series should be played and I am thrilled it continues.

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