A Nose for DeathBook - 2013
Chemist Dr. Joan Parker has the ability to name more scents that just about any other person on the planet. She can distinguish cane sugar from beet sugar, burning pine from spruce, and a man on the make from a man on the take. Combining scents to create food flavors is her occupation and her passion. Her understanding of the effects of all of the senses on human emotion and behavior is her pass key. This ability also leads Joan "Nosey" Parker to the killer in A Nose for Death .
At fifty, Joan is at a transitional time of life. She' s outspoken, sometimes to a fault, and through her words, private thoughts, and actions provides the reader with candid insights into her romantic, sexual and emotional life. Joan is at first confused when she receives a reunion invitation to Madden High, the school from which she never graduated. After the death of her father, the family had moved away. Her estranged husband, Mort, convinces her to attend. This is the first time that she's been back to the town of Madden in thirty years.
Her worst fear is realized when she arrives in Madden and her name isn't on the invitation list. Within hours she becomes the prime suspect in the murder of Roger Rimmer, the Mick Jagger of her high school class.
The upside of her return to Madden is Gabe. Her geeky best friend is now the handsome, compassionate Sgt. Theissen, head of the district RCMP detachment. Their passionate attraction leads to an illicit affair.
After another body is found, Joan turns her research skills to the investigation. An intricate examination of Madden reveals buried secrets and forces Joan to confront her own ghosts. Along the way she gains a new respect for her own mother and, in the end, she realizes that people wear masks of all kinds, the murderer and herself included.