“Small Town Spin” is the third book in the Headlines in High Heels Mystery series, by LynDee Walker. It features Nichelle Clarke, a smart, ambitious reporter. The first book in the series, “Front Page Fatality,” is nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel.
As the story opens, Nichelle is asked to cover the death of a superstar athlete’s son. Suicide is suspected. The parents can’t believe that their son committed suicide, and Nichelle tends to agree. During her investigation, she uncovers an illegal moonshine operation. There is also a string of copycat suicides.
Along the way she tangles with her colleagues, delves into school politics and works with a crime boss. There is romance and of course danger.
It is interesting to watch an author mature. “Small Town Spin” is definitely the best in the series. It examines the issue of suicide in children: what factors lead to it and what can be done to prevent it. This is a very heavy topic, which LynDee handles skillfully. While never downplaying the issue, she intersperses humorous moments in Nichelle’s day so that the reader is never left depressed by the story.
LynDee Walker dedicates the book to the memory of Austin J. Hemmer, a friend’s child who committed suicide. Perhaps being so close to the topic made the story seem so poignant.
In the acknowledgement she talks about her research and offers numbers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
I strongly recommend the book and feel it would be great for book clubs to discuss. Depending on the location, LynDee offers to attend or Skype or Facetime into bookclubs.
Five stars out of Five.
In accordance with the FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge. I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.