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Three Can Keep a Secret    by Judy Clemens order for
Three Can Keep a Secret
by Judy Clemens
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Bikers. Mennonites. A dairy farm. A suspicious death. Enveloping snake tattoos. Can these things possibly mesh well in one novel? You bet they can. Brew them all together and you come up with Three Can Keep a Secret, the second of Judy Clemens' Stella Crown series. This is a fun book that reels from a tornado blowing down a garage to milking cows, to rumbles with bikers, to birthing a calf, to nasty in-laws, to dealing with grief, to finding new love.

Having lost her lifelong farmhand, Stella needs someone to help keep her dairy farm afloat. Enter Lucy Lapp and her daughter Tess. Unfortunately, they bring baggage with them and it filters into Stella's life. Recovering from a motorcycle accident, she needs physical strength as well as emotional support - not necessarily entwined in the same person. Her friend Lenny, a reformed one percenter (that portion of the bikers in the U.S. who are lawless) is being hounded, apparently by his past, but finds a kindred soul in Lucy.

This is an exciting book - for a different read - incorporating lots of info about all the above subjects. The action moves at a good clip and the characterizations seem drawn from real life. You can't help but like Stella, tats and all.

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