Footprints in the Sand
A Piper Donovan Mystery #3
Mary Jane Clark
William Morrow, January 2013
Piper Donovan is a struggling actress. She and her parents travel to Florida where she plans to be a bridesmaid at her cousin’s wedding. Sadly, before they arrive, one of the other bridesmaids is brutally murdered on the beach, casting a pall over the wedding celebration. Piper meets interesting local citizens, including a handsome beach bum, a sweet elderly woman who is mysteriously run off the road and the delightful community of Amish residents whose lives intertwine with the cast of characters. Piper expects to enjoy sunset barbecues, boat trips into the Everglades, and trips to the aquatic museum before the wedding day. What she doesn’t expect is to get sucked into solving a murder. The conclusion is a page turner when the killer sets his target on Piper, fearing she has come too close to solving the case.
Ms. Clark‘s Footprints in the Sand keeps the reader wanting to know what happens next. She has included multiple point of view characters and many scenes jumping from one character to the next. Each character is involved with the week’s affairs, including the secret thoughts and actions of the killer as he joins the wedding party celebrations. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the characters straight and I had to go back and figure out who was who.
I would recommend this cozy mystery to readers who want a simple story, don’t want to think too hard and don’t want a story that keeps them awake at night.
Reviewed by Elaine Faber, May 2014.