Bad Weather, Bad Man is my second cozy mystery, and it focuses on homeless people who camp in the forest outside of town.
I enjoyed developing the character of Ace, one of the prime suspects in the murders and an old high school rival of Lauren’s boyfriend Justin. Ace is articulate in what he thinks is wrong with society, though he offers few solutions. He’s one of the homeless because he values his time too much to hold a boring job. He claims he’s not really homeless, as he has a van he lives out of. When he needs money, he does farm labor or plays poker in a casino.
The bad weather makes a mess of the area where the homeless live, out in the woods, and someone ends up in the hospital because of the flooding. The plot goes this way and that… I pretty much left out the colorful language you might expect from these characters. You can read the series in any order.
Here is the book’s description:
Lauren Long, library director in the charming town of Silvermine, Colorado, welcomes homeless people to use the library. One is Billy, who sends email from the library’s computers and warns Lauren about a bad man. When Billy is found dead in the forest, murder is suspected.
Billy’s cousin Barb comes to town and puts on a wild party to celebrate his life. At the party, Lauren meets Ace, a radical and brilliant homeless man. Despite being warned, Lauren soon agrees to a request from Ace which could cost her dearly. She came to Silvermine because of her yearning for a sense of community, but it seems that she may have misjudged some people, including her boyfriend Justin. And nobody but Lauren seems to care who committed the killing.
When something completely unexpected happens on her thirtieth birthday, Lauren must deal with panic. When she learns an important secret, things begin to make sense. Eventually Barb reappears with astonishing news, and a future better than anyone imagined begins to unfold.