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Embrace the Grim Reaper    by Judy Clemens order for
Embrace the Grim Reaper
by Judy Clemens
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Judy Clemens, author of the exciting Stella Crown mysteries, now introduces a new series starring Casey Maldonado. Casey is traveling, wherever her feet and hitchhiked rides will take her. She is trying to escape a past which clings to her like cat hairs on a dark wool coat.

At the end of one day, she finds herself in Clymer, in Ohio farmland. The local industry is closing its doors, having already laid off half its employees. The other half will join them when the plant closes its doors forever, three months hence. The town is mourning a young woman's suicide - the single mother told people before she died that she could keep the plant open.

Casey, with a tragic loss of her own, tries to discover why the plant is closing and whether the woman's death was truly a suicide. Tension mounts as she becomes more and more involved. She meets and interacts with pretty interesting characters including a possible love interest and two very intriguing landladies. Casey is a likable person who carries a deep hole in her heart. Her concern for the inhabitants of Clymer temporarily pushes her own pain aside.

Embrace the Grim Reaper has the elephant in the living room Death materializes to Casey at the most inopportune times. They have a relationship of sorts, making for a great new quirk in the genre. Don't miss this one.

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