Murder Unleashed by Rita Mae Brown is another mystery book I did not finish reading. (Dang was that a shotgun blast I just heard not far from my window? Did not sound like a firecracker. No sirens yet.) Murder Unleashed is cute in that dogs and a coyote are characters ~ they carry on sub-conversations as the humans are interacting.
The story is about hard economic times. A real estate broker visits her expired listings one day to find a squatter living in one of the homes. Entire blocks are filled with deserted houses. The broker notices the lock boxes on her listings doors are broken. The squatter is a down-on-his luck guy ~ typical 2000s tale of job loss, forced to drop out of college, ends up losing his home. He explains that most of these vacant, some boarded up houses are being lived in by other homeless individuals.
And a few blocks away is crack town (or was it cocaine row?) ~ the party people destroying the places they are using to squat. The broker enlists her friends who in turn enlist their churches to gather food, and clothing for the squatters. They are also trying to get the utility company to turn the electric and water back on so that the squatters can bathe, cook and keep warm.
So why did I lose interest in the story? Well, I wanted to read a good mystery story, you know, find out who done it. Yes, there was a murder, very little mention of that. I guess I much prefer mystery stories involving police detective than amateur sleuths. Might say the mystery is: will the ladies help the unemployed squatters find jobs? Will they get the power turned back on? Will they help feed and clothe those people?