A small-town real estate agent has just been murdered. On the same day, a computer worm is crawling through the world's banking system, wiping out millions of bank accounts.
Sculptor Utah O'Brien is the obvious murder suspect. One of her hand-made masks was found on the body of the victim at City Hall, and she's one of the few people in town who have access to the building at night. And, if we must be honest, she didn't like the guy very much.
But she's also an active member of the town's emergency planning committee. She can't abandon her commitment to her neighbors just because one of them has framed her for murder.
Most people in town are trying to find out what a "computer worm" is, and whether or not they'll ever get their savings back. Utah must find someone who can answer those questions, while also proving that she's innocent of murder.
She'll get some help from her friend Mort, a retired sheriff, and Jocko, her faithful Border collie. Even her mother pitches in to help - but can they get it all done before Utah ends up in jail, or before the killer strikes again?
Jonni Good, the author, said, "I've been worrying about the vulnerability of our financial system and electric grid for years, because it's all connected to the Internet. In fact, I wasn't sure I'd be able to complete this novel before a very similar crisis happened in real life. Although the subject was a bit scary, I had fun watching my characters as they tried to solve two very big problems at once. It's a light, easy-to-read novel about two very serious issues, so writing this novel, my first, was both a challenging and exciting project."
Now that the WannaCry ransomware attack has infected so many computers in Europe and Asia, it appears that Ms. Good's novel was, indeed, written just in time.
You'll like this book if you enjoy modern character-driven mysteries with likable small-town characters and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. This is the first Utah O'Brien Minnesota Mystery. The second book in the series, A Lonely Way to Die, is now available on amazon.com.
Almost non-stop drama and a fast moving plot kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish ... Really enjoyed the mix of the small town charm, and the fun cast of characters (loved Jocko too). "The Owl Thief" has an unpredictable plot, and a sassy and smart heroine in Utah, infused with a compelling storyline - felt really believable. Megan King--Goodreads
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Book Description Wet Cat Books, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0974106585