Heart of a Runaway Girl by Trevor Wiltzen
Heart Of A Runaway Girl is the first story in the Mabel Davison cosy mystery series. This story is set in a small mining town in Washington State during the 1980s, and revolves around the murder of a runaway girl followed by the wrongful arrest of her boyfriend.
Mabel Davison owns the town diner and motel. She works regular shifts in the diner, and believes that she knows just what customers are looking for when they enter her restaurant. She says that she can ‘read people’, which is why she is sure that the town sheriff has arrested the wrong man. Thus, Mabel dons her amateur sleuthing hat and sets out to find the real murderer.
Mabel is a determined character who puts herself at risk multiple times in pursuit of justice. She leads a full and busy life as a single parent of two boys, and she is also raising her niece. The pace of the story skips along; I enjoyed the first two thirds particularly. The last third dragged a little and the end of the mystery was a little disappointing as much of it happened ‘off screen’. I thought that Mabel deserved more involvement with the final arrest after all her hard work.
Overall, a decent start to a cosy mystery series.
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In a 1980s mountain town fueled by the drug trade, a young couple gets into an argument at Mabel’s Diner. Then the teen girl winds up brutally murdered, and the black boyfriend automatically jailed. Haunted by the tragedy, big-hearted, big-haired, single mom and waitress, Mabel Davison steps in and asks questions few want answered. But she’s unprepared for the secrets she uncovers, and now more lives may be destroyed, including her own.