Stay At Home Dead by Jeffrey Allen is the first book in the new “Stay at Home” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, January 2012
It’s a day like any other for Deuce Winters, a stay-at-home dad in sleepy Rose Petal, Texas, where he and his three-year-old daughter Carly are making their weekly trip to the grocery store. But the discovery of a dead body in his mini-van quickly throws his quiet life into disarray. In a town where gossip spreads faster than a brush fire in July, it doesn’t help that the victim ruined Deuce’s high school football career and married his ex-girlfriend.
As the number one suspect in the court of public opinion, Deuce is determined to clear his name, with a little help from his wife Julianne, a high-powered attorney who lovingly refers to him as her “househusband.” His search for the killer leads him to a business plan gone awry and a gaggle of jilted lovers. All the while, he’ll have to contend with a diminutive but feisty detective, the ruthless preschool PTA, and more than his fair share of Texas-sized hairdos—not to mention the laundry.
What a fun debut! Stay-at-home dad, Deuce, finds a dead body in his minivan and when the town’s gossip has him all but convicted, Deuce looks into this case to clear his name with help from unlikely sources. This is a light-hearted, fun-filled, and well-written who-dun-it that I enjoyed immensely. The mystery was a good one that had me guessing and when I thought I had the killer’s identity in my grasp, the author changed direction. I love the people in Deuce’s world; especially scene-stealer Carly. The clever storyline, the comfortable ambiance, the enjoyable banter and likeable cast are the beginnings of a charmingly amusing and wonderful series that is a welcome addition to the cozy genre.
Jeffrey Allen is the pseudonym of Jeff Shelby.