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Checking Out Crime: 11/07/21
Checking Out Crime by Laurie Cass is the ninth book in the Bookmobile Cat mystery series. Winter is rapidly approaching and Minnie's worried that Rafe won't get their house finished in time. She needs to get her houseboat into dry dock before it gets to cold to live on it.
To complicate things, Minnie and Julia discover a dead man on the road while they're out with the bookmobile. It turns out he was a bicyclist and his murder seems tied to his hobby. Minnie decides to join the group to see if she can figure out what the connection is.
This book follows with the trend I've noticed in the last year or so: a cynicism against those in power. Usually in mysteries, especially cozy mysteries, people in power are usually exempt from suspicion. Even when they act as foils to the amateur sleuth, their intentions are good. Ultimately they will work together with the main character to solve the case.
But the recent call for accountability with police, politicians, and so forth, is inspiring a new form of introspection in the cozy mysteries. This new potential set of murderers brings to mind the previous century's cliché that the butler did it. The butler or the priest or other helpful but otherwise invisible people made for unexpected villains — until readers learned to scrutinize all the supporting characters.
Book ten, The Crime that Binds is scheduled for release October 4, 2022.