Lucy Kerr's mystery debut stars Francesca "Frankie"
Stapleton, an emergency room nurse who fled her small
hometown of Stillwater for the big city. At the beginning
of TIME OF DEATH, family circumstances in the form of her
pregnant sister Charlie's case of pre-eclampsia, a
condition that threatens her life as well as that of her
unborn child. On the way to visit her sister at Stillwater
General Hospital, Frankie runs into a man suffering from a
heart attack and bullies the ER staff, busy to overflowing
with a bus crash of teenagers, into helping him.
Unfortunately, Clem Jensen dies in the night, but Frankie
suspects foul play.
But Frankie has more problems than possible murder with
which to contend. She doesn't work at that hospital, so her
use of medicines to help Clem gets her a malpractice suit.
Although she came home to help her sister, Charlie doesn't
want her help, and all Frankie's mother wants to know about
is her fiancé, with whom Frankie broke off the relationship
just before returning to Stillwater.
Frankie sets out to find out what happened to Clem and
what's going on under the surface of her hometown. She
enlists others help of her first fiancé, Stillwater Deputy
Noah MacLean, befriends Clem's daughter and seeks help from
Marcus, the nurse responsible for Clem's care. But she has
powerful factions against her.
Kerr does a nice job of keeping her story moving, not
letting the reader enough time to catch breath from one
chapter to the next. She neatly intertwines family drama
with a medical mystery and throws in a bit of romance to
keep things spicy. Sort of a cross between a private eye
story and a Robin Cook thriller with all the goodness of
both. She's definitely a writer to watch. I stayed up far
too late to finish this story and definitely look forward
to the next.
It’s been twelve years since ER nurse Frankie Stapleton fled
the quiet banks of Stillwater, but with her sister’s
pregnancy taking a dangerous turn and a string of failed
relationships in Chicago hanging over her, Frankie is
back–and hoping to put the past behind her. Within minutes
of arriving at Stillwater General Hospital however, she ends
up saving a man’s life, only to have him turn up dead hours
later – and the hospital blames Frankie.
Her instincts say Clem Jensen didn’t die of natural causes,
but the more she digs, the more she discovers too many
suspects, a few surprising allies, and some hard truths
about the first man she ever loved–and left. Now the boy she
once knew is a skeptical sheriff’s deputy, her family's
hardware store is in jeopardy, and the rift between Frankie
and her loved ones is deeper than ever.
career–and future–on life support, Frankie must catch a
killer, clear her name, and heal the wounds of the past in
Lucy Kerr’s enthralling mystery debut, Time of Death.