GIRL CAN’T HELP IT
A Krista Larson Mystery
By Max Allan Collins
Thomas & Mercer
There really should be a subgenre name for murder mysteries involving rock and roll bands. Seriously, quite a few such books have been done over the years. Enough to warrant such a label. None of which should come as a surprise as many writers in their younger days were known to have played in such bands. Thus is the case with writer Collins and, like those others before him, he skillfully weaves those experiences in this, his second Krista Larson mystery.
Galena Chief of Police Krista Larson, and her retired detective father, Keith, first appeared in “Girl Most Likely” and found instant favor with many of Collins’ fans; this reviewer included. In this latest outing, Galena is about to host a reunion concerts for a local band that long ago hit the big time. Krista is kept hopping with how such a tourist attracting event will impact her town. When several of the band’s members die within a year of each other prior to the reunion, her cop instincts begin to tingle. After hearing his daughter’s misgivings about the deaths, Keith begins to come around to her dark suspicions. Is there a murderer targeting the old rockers and if so, why?
Most decent mystery series depend on solid characters we readers can empathize with enough to want to meet them again and again. While immensely enjoying “Girl Can’t Help It,” we appreciated Collins displaying the hometown charm of Galena and its citizenry so that we were reminded favorably of the late Robert Parker’s homespun copper, Jesse Stone of Paradise, Massachusetts. All in all, the Larsons second outing is as much a pleasure as was the first and once again we find ourselves clamoring for more.