(Poisoned Pen Press, Dec. 3, 2013)
She's back! Tattooed, hard-working, and often crabby dairy farmer and biker Stella Crown is hot—both in temperature and temperament. Her sister-in-law is a nag, her fiancé Nick is ill, and her bank account is in the red. But when a local country star turns up dead at the county fair, where Stella's teenage employee Zach is an exhibitor, things turn from hot to ugly.
Stella wasn't friends with the victim. In fact, she'd only seen her from a distance. But seeing how Stella was the one to dig her out from her deathbed in the calf barn's manure pile, the cops are on her like flies on… well… honey. Why on earth would Stella want to kill a young singer she'd never spoken to? She'd much rather kill the annoying helicopter dad in the fair's dairy barn. Or the fifty percent fake girl in the Lovely Miss Pennsylvania Pageant. Or her banker.
Sick to death of annoying cops and entertainment folks, Stella figures the only way to get her life back is to aim law enforcement in the right direction. If that means having to endure a manicure with her soon to be sister in law at the dead singer's favorite salon, or stopping by the recording studio to check out the talent, Stella figures there could be worse things. Can't a simple farm girl just get married in peace?
"In Clemens's heartfelt fifth Stella Crown mystery… Clemens creates a cozy, safe-feeling community that needs a fierce defender like Stella to protect it… readers will love her determination to make things right while letting everyone live the way he or she desires."
—Publishers Weekly on Leave Tomorrow Behind
"Stella Crown is a great character—strong, independent, and, when necessary, combative. I liked her and the very real dairy farm setting. I even liked the cows."
—Barbara D'Amato, Anthony and Agatha award-winning author
"The elements of Stella's life, as diverse as they are, ring loud and true, thanks to Clemens' ear for what farmers and bikers sound like, especially when they're under pressure."
—Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune
"...abundant wit, well-developed characters, and a vividly realized rural setting."
—Barbara Bibel, Booklist
"The background here—of life on a farm surrounded by suburbs, and the Mennonite church that some of the characters attend—is superbly rendered. Stella is both admirable and flawed, which makes her interesting."
—Roberta Alexander, Contra Costa Times
"Fans will enjoy eccentric Stella, loyal to a fault to her friends and acerbic to her enemies."
—Midwest Book Review
© Judy Clemens. Web site by interbridge.