INK RED DEAD by Joanna Campbell Slan

Ink Read Dead_final_web  A cozy mystery with a scrapbooking theme.  It is the second in a series of three.

Kiki Lowenstein, a minority owner of a small scrapbooking business, and another employee go to a customer’s house for a ‘crop, a scrapbooking party where they show techniques and ideas and sell supplies.  Kind of like a Tupperware party for the scrapbooking crowd.

But the house they go to is a mess.  It’s in a high class neighborhood, but the grass is a couple of feet tall, and an attempt to mow a path through it ended in a dead mower.   Knocking on the door brought no human response but a whole bunch of cats and kittens come flying at the door and windows.

After getting no response the ladies try the knob, the door opens and they enter to find the house of a hoarder, stuff piled everywhere, and the overpowering stench of cat urine, decaying meat and who knows what else.  Oh!  I know what else.  In the heat of summer, the air conditioner was not running, it was hotter than hades in there, and there was a dead cat on the dining room table.  And maybe a hundred live ones running around.  All malnourished and sickly looking.

But where was the owner?  They found her comatose in bed.    After running outside for breathable air, they called 911 and waited for the police and ambulance to arrive.

The police contact the daughter, who then hires Kiki’s friend to clean out the house,  and if her mother dies, she will sell it.

So of course the cleaning crew find a body in the chest freezer.  You expected less?

You’ll have to read the book yourself  to meet the detective crush, (that would be the married detective crush)  the harried daughter, the awful husband of the daughter,  as well as her horrible brother, and meet the co owner of the scrapbook business and her collage age daughter who couldn’t cut college so moved back home.  They made her manager of the store.  And she too was an over-the-top PITA.

I’m not exactly sure to what the title refers.  Maybe to the towering piles of newspapers all over the house.

A pleasant quick read.



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