Deadly Appearances: 06/08/22
Deadly Appearances by Gail Bowen is the start of the Joanne Kilbourn mystery series. Set in rural Saskatchewan it's about a speech writer's attempt to solve the murder of the opposition leader during a campaign speech.
As is typical of mysteries from the late 1980s and 1990s, this one is built around dark personal secrets. These are "shocking" things, the sort of things current day conservatives are trying to re-closet.
If this were a modern day mystery, sexual secrets wouldn't alone be motive for murder. Nor would it be something the amateur sleuth would ruminate over. But this is the era where anyone who is a deviant is either someone worth killing or someone with a motive to kill.
The thing though that kept me reading was Joanne's progressive illness. Through the course of the book, which covers about two months, her health declines. The how and why of her illness is by far the more interesting mystery than who killed the politician.
The second book is Murder at the Mendel (1991).