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Crash Course by Hogan Trochec

Trocheck writes a series of mysteries featuring Callahan Garrity an unusual heroine I hugely enjoy. In these two volumes, however, her "hero" is an old man in a retirement hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. His companions are equally unlikely--the young black waitress who works in the hotel dining room and the midget who runs the corner newsstand.

The issues that dominate the lives of these characters are ordinary, like saving enough money for a down payment on a used car, or finding a cheap place to live if the hotel converts to expensive condominiums. And of course along the way they are drawn-usually protesting-into the inevitable sleuthing. This is, after all, a mystery series.

Almost from the start, however, I was drawn inexorably into these boring lives, until they seemed not boring at all. I realized as I went along that I cared about these people. I worried about the hotel going condo.

Finally, I paid them my highest complement; I want to join them for coffee and share their news of the day. When Ollie stands up on his chair to be tall enough to make his point, I want to hear it. When Truman wonders whether Jackie saved him a dessert because he couldn't get to dinner til the third seating, I hope she has.

The Chicago Tribune says these Trocheck works contain, "Witty dialogue and sassy characters." I agree.

I encourage you to read about these atypically heroic, ordinary people, but do so with caution. These "sassy characters" will grow on you.

Crash Course by Kathy Hogan Trocheck

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