✰✰✰✰½ It's been ten years since respected community member, Alberta Resnick, was killed in her own home. The cold case has been nearly forgotten until local reporter Branigan Powers is assigned to the story. Having recently returned to Grambling, GA, Branigan is just settling in and becoming reacquainted with old friends. With the newspaper industry undergoing a transition, Branigan and her colleagues now how important it is to retain readership, but Branigan is up for the challenge. Through her research, Branigan uncovers new leads just as people from the homeless community start dying one by one. With the help of her pastor friend, Liam, and the homeless, Branigan follows the dangerous twists and turns of the case to reveal the town's hidden secrets.
The Bottom Line: This well-written novel is the first in a new series by a debut author. Besides being an engaging mystery, Richardson-Moore expertly weaves the social issues of homelessness, addiction, and family dynamics throughout. Additionally, the Southern setting adds to the charm of the book. I am looking forward to the next installment. Enthusiastically recommended for mystery buffs.
Details: The Cantaloupe Thief: A Branigan Powers Mystery by Deb Richardson-Moore. Published by Lion Hudson in 2016. 288 p. ISBN: 978-1-78264-192-3 NOTE: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This was made possible via the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing.