When Big Bob, manager of the town dump, goes missing, CeCe is worried about more than where she’ll score her next salvaged car. First at the scene when Bob’s body is recovered from under the weekly recycling haul, CeCe is quick to identify potential witnesses and provide crucial scene sketches. But when CeCe is uncharacteristically startled by an unidentified woman at Bob’s abandoned house, her artistic talents are challenged, and her drawings, much to her frustration, come up short.
With CeCe’s observational talents on the fritz, Detective Frank DeRosa, CeCe, and her network of Freegans are forced to recreate Big Bob’s life from the garbage up. The team is soon thrust into the underworld of recycling where what appears to be junk could actually be the clue that saves a life.
I learned a new word reading Drawing Blood. According to the site Freegan.info,:
Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.
These are folks who 'employ alternative strategites' for more than living! I'm all over recycling, re-using and repurposing items, and I don't really see myself toting banners and passing out flyers, but I admire the Freegans' level of commitment. Such is the world which Ms. Verne (re)introduces us to in Drawing Blood.
While CeCe and Co. probably take recycling to a level with which most people are not entirely comfortable, it does highlight how wasteful our lives are a lot of the time.
CeCe is a great cozy heroine. Her life does not center around detective work ... but dead bodies do have a tendency to show up in her world, and she uses the unique sets of skills that she has (which includes drawing) to figure out the mystery and the crime.
The MC's family is present in cozies (physically or otherwise) and CeCe, well, she is 'blessed' with a full rack of eight-balls. Her mother is an addict in recovery. CeCe's father is a defrocked priest of genetic research and definitely needs to be locked up in one sort of institution or another. As much as I am at odds with the medical establishment status quo, CeCe's father is one of those for which many of those rules were written. Ugh. I really, really did not like him. Ms. Verne does a superb job of revealing the depth of that man's villainy. Really. It's been about a week since I read the book and I still want to pop in a breath mint to get the bad taste from him out of my mouth!
Several of the characters introduced later in the book are part of CeCe's (shall we say) 'extended' family. Not exactly mainstream in society either, they are the most 'real' people (apart from CeCe herself). They say you have the family you are born with and you have the family you choose. CeCe has both and then some.
Some cozy series have recipes or patterns included, which follow along with whatever the relevant crafty theme is. "The Sketch in Crime" series seems ripe for this sort of treatment, maybe including recycling and/or repurposing tips, etc., in future installments. Whatever the case, and after I catch up on the first book, I will re-visit this series for CeCe's future adventures!
MEET THE AUTHOR
A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s short stories appear in all three New York chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters. Visit her online at DeirdreVerne.com.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my objective review. Post contains affiliate links.)
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