Publisher: Spinsters Ink
Lauren Fairchild had lunch with her sister and her adored niece, picked up a picnic lunch of her favorite foods, drove three hours, hiked a mile up to a mountain lake, spread out her things and swallowed fifty pills. According to everyone who knew her, Lauren was happy with her life and was making plans for her future. So why did she do it?
That's the mystery that part-time private investigator Kristin Ashe is hired to answer. Lauren's sister is convinced she is murdered and she wants Kristin to prove it. Kris wants to help Patrice Elliott, Lauren's sister, but she has problems of her own. Her lover, lesbian activist Destiny Greaves, wants them to move in together and start a committed relationship, something Kris is not sure she's capable of doing. Kris comes from a severely dysfunctional family, at the center of which is her handicapped brother David. When David is found in a coma from multiple epileptic seizures, Kris is thrown into a family drama that she would just as soon avoid. It's no wonder that she is drawn deeper and deeper into the enigma that was Lauren Fairchild's life. Even after it becomes clear what actually happened, the looming question is why. As Kris and her hilarious friend Fran Green, an irrepressible lesbian ex-nun, uncover Lauren's motivation, Kris also begins to learn more about herself and how she interacts with her family and Destiny.
The mystery in Commitment to Die isn't really so much about why Lauren Fairchild died on that mountain. The mystery in the book is about what motivates people in their lives, why do they behave the way they do and how do their interactions influence that. The book is almost a psychological study of human relationships, but without being heavy. It is interesting to see the relationships develop between Kris and Destiny, Kris and her family and to see the special relationship Lauren had with her sister and her niece and why.
This isn't a traditional mystery, but it is an interesting book in the other story that it tells.