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To Thine Own Self Be True: A Stella Crown Mystery    by Judy Clemens order for
To Thine Own Self Be True
by Judy Clemens
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Dairy farmer Stella Crown is back in the third of the series featuring Stella and her unusual groups of friends. After cows, her love of Harley-Davidsons stands out. Or possibly it should be in the reverse order.

While her friend Wolf is tattooing her wrist, Wolf's wife Mandy is murdered and Wolf is later abducted. Feeling she could have prevented the whole occurrence, Stella is driven by guilt to pursue the culprit responsible. This determination leads her to tattoo parlors where she learns of the politics involved in running a tattoo business and of legislation that could drive tattoers out of business. As she takes off running trying to assuage her guilt, Stella stumbles into a long-held feud as well as danger for herself.

Stella is a very complex character, true to her beliefs even though it means driving away a man she felt she could love. She has a compassionate heart, while on the surface she seems crusty. When she becomes your friend, you have a friend for life. The climax is exciting but just a tiny bit off the wall. But then so is Stella.

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