Title:  "Blind Dates Can Be Murder"
Author:  Mindy Starns Clark
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers

Readers, be aware. Not only is this book entertaining and inspirational, but informative as well. (How do you get wine stains off a blouse?) Move over, Martha Stewart. Here comes Jo Tulip.

Household hint guru Jo Tulip continues her climb to fame in this second smart chick mystery. Her agent is sure that she will enjoy greater success with her syndicated column and increase traffic on her blog by joining a dating service. Jo proceeds hesitantly, since she doesn't want anyone to think she's desperate. Little does she know that will be the least of her headaches.

Jo can solve virtually any tough stain problem, but when her blind date collapses on the restaurant's floor, she has no remedy for death. The evening deteriorates further as Jo learns that her mystery man was not her real date, but a fake. Instead, she finds her true date tied up in the dead man's trunk. Thankfully, he is relatively unharmed and good-looking to boot. Perhaps the night wasn't a total loss. But why was he targeted for violence and she for deception?

Jo phones her best friend, Danny, to fill him in on the news. He expresses fear for her safety amidst the current dilemma, wishing she would be more careful. After all, he is in love with Jo, and must find a way to tell her. Will she respond favorably to his declaration of love?

Danger lurks at every corner. Innocent people teeter at the brink of destruction and criminals keep getting away with murder. How will neat freak Jo and photographer Danny get to this puzzle's core?

There's nothing like a good mystery, and this novel is worth its weight in clues. Mindy Starns Clark's characters are delightful, the story full of interesting side plots and an overarching theme of God's care for us. The heroine isn't the only one who realizes the hope she has in Christ, and who is able to bask in His forgiveness.

My nod of approval accompanies this lively mystery. I came away encouraged that "regular" people like me can be used by God to change things for the good. Thank God He guides us in the right direction and rewards those who sacrifice their desires for His own. Besides, He alone knows what's best for us. Who are we to mess with it?

 © 2006 Infuze Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.