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In Grace against the Clock by Julie Hyzy, Grace Wheaton helps to host a ritzy fundraiser at Marshfield Manor to raise money to restore the large clock that greets visitors to Emberstown. Organized by lawyer Joyce Swedberg and her ex-husband, Dr. Leland Kaey, who have determined to put their differences aside for this positive purpose, this gala charges $1,000 a plate, and Bennett Marshfield has paid for many of his employees to attend. The local photographer, David Cherk, who documents all of Emberstown’s events, has prepared a show of his photos, and all seems ready the night before the event. Then, the next night, first Joyce cancels, and then as they begin, Dr. Kaey disappears. Just as they start a massive manhunt, he reappears, but in an extremely inebriated state, mutters the word “injection,” and dies in Grace’s arms.
Then just in time for Grace’s assistant, Francis, to catch the paramedics before they leave, Rodriguez, the city’s head detective suffers a heart attack, leaving the case in the hands of Flynn, the only detective left able in Emberstown. But the case of Dr. Keay’s death provides a puzzle because the man is a recovering alcoholic who has not taken a drink since getting into a drunk driving accident five years earlier. The autopsy indicates that someone has injected Dr. Kaey with a lethal dose of alcohol, killing him and making the act murder.
The story continues with great fascination, complete with a man trying to court Grace, two trap doors and hidden passages, and fascinating visits to Wes at the historical society. I like the way Francis shows that she is thawing towards Grace and works with Grace and Bennett on the murder. Their working relationship develops to become closer to friendship than ever before.
I have loved the entire series, and this book is one of the best yet. I loved the mystery plot, which led to all sorts of fascinating twists and turns, leading to creative adventures. But I also really enjoy the development of relationships in the book, along with the great characterizations. The historical details just add further to the fun of the book.
Emily Durante does a great job of narrating the book. She has a sophistication to her voice that I enjoy listening to. She suits Grace well in creating the 30- something Grace, who exhibits the maturity topical of an older woman. Durante does a good performance in this book.
I highly enjoyed Grace against the Clock. I still like the first book, Grace under Pressure, the best, but this book comes in second in my list of favorites. I can always be guaranteed an excellent book in anything written by Hyzy, who knows how to write both in her mechanics and themes and depth to her content. I really appreciate this and hope they record the rest of the series on audio. I give the book five stars!