Prudence Couldn’t Swim
PM Press, Jun 7 2012, $14.95
In 2003 in an exclusive Oakland, California neighborhood ex-convict Cal Winter returns home to find his beautiful much taller and younger English wife Prudence dead in their swimming pool. Though their interracial marriage of convenience never was consummated, Cal always dreamed they would one day. He realizes his wife never stepped into the water as Prudence Couldn’t Swim; so someone killed her. Panicked he moves the body before returning it to where he had pulled it out of the pool. Cal calls the cops who think he murdered his spouse.
Cal calls his friend ex-convict Red Eye, to help him learn who killed Prudence. They find evidence that Prudence apparently was leaving soon and a clue that takes them to IHOP manager Mandisa who tells them that like her, Prudence came from Zimbabwe where her name was Tarisao Mukombachoto. As the pair digs deeper while the cops try to pin a murder rap on Cal and accessory on Red Eye, the pair begins to connect the convoluted life of the late Prudence with ties to the affluent who can pay big bucks for their sexual needs.
This is an exciting amateur sleuth tale as readers will want to know if Cal’s hypothesis based on the given that Prudence Couldn’t Swim proves valid. Although readers will have difficulty accepting Cal’s weird treatment of Prudence’s body, fans will enjoy touring Oakland with the widower and his always bet on red partner as they land in and in and in trouble. A late coda involving a powerful individual and his wife seems so accurate in this age of remorseful pleading publically to forgive indiscretions.