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Embrace the Grim Reaper
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About the Author

Judy Clemens was born and raised a Mennonite, and is still involved with the church. She lives in rural Ohio, where she is pleased to see women in leadership in every aspect of the community. Dairy farming is not a part of her daily life, for which she is grateful, since it's such a difficult job. She lives in an old farmhouse with her family, and their livestock consists of four housecats.

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Casey Maldonado is running from the ruins of her life. Her family wants her to sue following a fatal car accident, even though the car manufacturer offered a generous settlement. Her only travel companion is Death. When Casey stops in a small Ohio town, she finds a community deeply affected by the recent death of a young woman, who reportedly killed herself after she lost her factory job, which is being moved to Mexico. Strong and self-reliant, but operating under a pronounced death wish, Casey attempts to find the truth behind the "suicide" and reluctantly discovers she's good at helping people. Clemens, author of the well-received Stella Crown series (Three Can Keep a Secret), explores intriguing new territory in this series debut, and adventurous mystery buffs may want to hitch a ride. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 1/09.] Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

The intriguing first in a new series from Clemens (Different Paths and four other Stella Crown mysteries) introduces a classic tragic heroine, Casey Maldonado, and her companion, the Grim Reaper. Casey, who's trying to come to terms with personal losses suffered in a fatal car accident, regularly wishes that Death will take her so she can spend eternity with her departed loved ones. Unfortunately for Casey, it's not her time, and Death decides only to tag along on her sad journey. Hitching rides to anywhere, Casey ends up in Clymer, Ohio, a town as deeply troubled as she is. Casey is soon drawn into investigating the death of a young mother, who supposedly committed suicide after losing her job. Clemens is adept at creating an appealing cast of characters while keeping the plot moving at a fast clip. Casey and Death make an oddly entertaining pair, and readers will hope to see their relationship fleshed out in future titles. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"An interesting premise (shades, almost, of The Fugitive) and a vulnerable but strong protagonist are the highlights here, though the character of Death adds an unexpected dimension. Clemens, author of the Stella Crown series, could have another winner."--Sue O'Brien "Booklist "
"Clemens is adept at creating an appealing cast of characters while keeping the plot moving at a fast clip. Casey and Death make an oddly entertaining pair, and readers will hope to see their relationship fleshed out in future titles."--Publishers Weekly
"Clemens, author of the well-received Stella Crown series, explores intriguing new territory in this series debut, and adventurous mystery buffs may want to hitch a ride."--Library Journal
"Clemens features a new leading lady with the promise of depth..."--Kirkus Reviews

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