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TEAM WORK Classic mystery fiction is filled with great crime-solving duos and trios: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson; Nick and Nora Charles; Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin; and Perry Mason, Della Street, and Paul Drake. Contemporary crime fiction is no different, with authors using exceptionally fine characters working together to solve a crime or to turn a bad situation into a good one. The women sleuthing in Felicia Donovan's The Black Widow Agency include a former police officer, a computer genius, a bookkeeper, an officer manager who cooks like a dream, and the office pet, a tarantula named Divinity. Veronica Heley in False Charity introduces the Abbott Agency, which solves problems for people who can't go to the police. And Archer Mayor in his latest Joe Gunther mystery, Chat, shows us how family and friends come together when their help is needed.
* Cleverly, Barbara. The Tomb of Zeus: A Laetitia Talblot Mystery. Delta: Dell. Oct. 2007. c.353p. ISBN 978-0-385-33990-2. pap. $13. M
When aspiring archaeologist Laetitia Talbot goes on a dig in Crete, she finds that women are an on-site rarity (it is 1928, after all) and that a male acquaintance is also working for Theodore Russell, the man paying for the dig. When Russell's wife is found to have hung herself in her bedroom, Laetitia shifts into snoop mode and firmly places herself in the way of the murderer. CWA Historial Dagger Award winner Cleverly, author of the Joe Sandiland series, demonstrates a knack for creating full-blown historical puzzlers with complicated plots and engaging characters in unusual settings. For readers who love Elizabeth Peters and Jacqueline Winspear and still hanker for Agatha Christie. Cleverly lives in Cambridge, England.
* Charles, Paul. Sweetwater: A DI Christy Kennedy Mystery. Brandon, dist. by Dufour. Nov. 2007. c.284p. ISDN 978-0-86322-356-3. $29.95; pap. ISBN 978-0-96322-367-9. $15.95. M
After being wounded, London detective Kennedy (I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass) is getting back into the swing of work. Before he knows it, he's investigating the murder of a man he knows. As he works through the intricate relationships of the man and his family and friends, Kennedy becomes more aware of his own feelings toward Ann Pea, his girlfriend of four years. Writing in dense, sophisticated prose, Charles takes time developing his …