Cover image for Up in smoke
Up in smoke
Weir, Charlene.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
337 pages ; 22 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



On the heels of a severe thunderstorm, Governor Jack Garrett comes to Hampstead with his friend and constant companion Wakely Fromm. Twenty years ago they battled a forest fire that left Wakely confined to a wheelchair and made Jack a hero. Now Jack is battling for his party's nomination as presidential candidate.

Trouble brews for the campaign, however, when the business card of Sean Donovan, one of the campaign workers, and Susan's cousin, turns up at a homicide scene. Police Chief Susan Wren's investigation reveals evidence that points straight to Jack Garrett. Should Susan arrest a sitting governor or Sean Donovan?

Author Notes

Charlene Weir 's first novel, The Winter Widow , won the Malice Domestic Award in 1991. She lives in El Cerrito, CA.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Hampstead, Kansas, Police Chief Susan Wren returns in this exciting adventure, which draws together numerous ancillary characters and subplots that somehow enliven the story rather than bogging it down. The tie that binds them together is Governor Jack Garrett, a handsome politician who hopes to be the Democratic nominee for president. Cass, his former girlfriend, is trying to overcome a severe bout of depression brought on by the sudden death of her husband and child. Jack's wife, Molly, is none too pleased when Jack brings Cass onboard the campaign. Meanwhile, Chief Susan Wren is entertaining her charismatic but devilish journalist cousin, Sean Donovan, who is following Garrett's campaign and promptly gets implicated in a murder. Susan is also pondering her relationships with her top-two male officers: Parkhurst, who likes her too much, and Demarco, who is almost insubordinate. As people connected with the campaign begin turning up dead, the pressure is on Susan to solve the case before her cousin gets arrested. Another first-rate entry in an intriguing series. --Jenny McLarin Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this engaging drama set against a political campaign, the sixth to chronicle the cases of Kansas police chief Susan Wren (after 2001's A Cold Christmas), Weir ably juggles a large cast of characters: Jack Garrett, the governor of Kansas, who's seeking his party's candidacy for the upcoming presidential election; Molly, his ambitious wife; Todd Haviland, his campaign manager; Cassilda Storm, his first love; Wakely Fromm, his oldest and best friend; and scores of other carefully drawn friends and enemies. Sean Donovan, a political writer for a prestigious periodical, thinks there's a story in the governor's relationship with Fromm, who's been in a wheelchair since the two fought a forest fire 20 years earlier. But when Donovan goes to interview Fromm, he finds Fromm dead in his bathroom, shot in the head, apparently by his own hand. Wren has her work cut out for her when suicide proves to be homicide and the evidence implicates Governor Garrett. A big black dog also figures in the plot. The suspense builds to the end of this convoluted mystery, which conveys to readers the agreeable sense that the survivors are going to find happiness. Agent, Meg Ruley. (Nov. 17) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved