I have read the 142nd book for the book challenge. It was Little Black Book of Murder: A Blackbird Sisters Mystery by Nancy Martin.
Nora Blackbird is working as a society reporter for the Intelligencer. She is covering fashion magnate Swainn Starr’s party for his food empire. His wife Zephyr is promoting her organic farming and he is promoting his pigs. But his ex-wife MaryBeth shows up waving an old gun and shoots it off, claiming Starr stole a rare pig from her. The party breaks up.
Nora is supposed to write a piece on Starr and his wife Zephyr for Gus, her editor. He wants juicy material on Zephyr, an ex-supermodel. Nora is having trouble coming up with material.
Then she and her sister go to Starr’s farm the next morning to deliver something. They have trouble getting in. Finally they let themselves in. No one is around. Nora goes to the barn area. There in the barn area in the mud she finds Starr’s body. He has been stabbed with a pitchfork. She also finds her nephew Rawlins’s car keys nearby. She picks up the car keys and pockets them.
Nora hunts for Zephyr Starr for her article. Rumor has it that Zephyr and a young man were seen checking into a small hotel in Philadelphia that night. Nora goes to a friend at that hotel and gets information. Zephyr and Porter “Porky” Starr, Swainn Starr’s youngest son were seen in the hotel. She gives the information to her editor, who write the story. The friend of Nora’s loses his job.
Nora and her husband Mike Abruzzo have a pig named Ralphie. He is a big hog that wandered onto Blackberry Farm and just stayed. Ralphie disappears one day and Nora is distraught.
Libby, Nora’s sister, has her twins in Porky’s child star classes to learn to be stars. She finally gets them jobs in an athlete’s foot commercial on her own. She plans to sue Porky for fraud.
Porky is not Swainn Starr’s biological son. He has asked his father for a $1million dollars to go away by his father gave him only $500,000. He wants to run away with Zephyr.
Mike Abruzzo learns that Zephyr killed her father and also killed a boyfriend in Italy. She also killed a man in Dubai. All these murders were covered up. So Zephyr is used to killing.
Nora finds Rawlins’s car in the road leading to Starr’s property. She find a positive pregnancy test in the car. Whose is it?
Tommy Rattigan is planning to expand his restaurant and include this mega-pig that he and MaryBeth have been raising that Starr has taken. They are looking for the pig.
Rawlins is taken in for questioning in the death of Swainn Starr. He is held for a while.
Emma, Nora’s other sister, sets fire to the barn of Starr’s property. She takes Rawlins’s jacket that she found in the barn. Nora is upset that Emma burned down the barn, but Emma made sure all the animals were moved first.
Then Emma takes her child Noah from his adoptive parents and gives him to Nora to care for. His adoptive parents are going through medical issues and don’t want him. Emma can’t take care of him. So Nora is caring for him. And Nora has just discovered that she is pregnant.
Porky burns down Nora’s barn on Blackbird Farm. Nora manages to get the horse and the ponies out of the barn. The barn isn’t burned down completely.
The police eventually let Rawlins go. They also question Nora but also let her go.
There is a gala called the Farm-to-Table gala. Nora goes to cover it and also because she knows that Tommy plans to butcher a hog that she thinks is Ralphie. A hog is loose in his restaurant. It is causing havoc. Tommy is livid because it’s meat is bad. he has cur off its tail and it’s liver is apparently causing its meat to be bad. This is the “super-pig” that MaryBeth raised. Ralphie runs into the street. Michael Abruzzo comes and whistles for the pig and he stops rampaging. They bandage his missing tail and take him home.
Rawlins tells what he knows about Starr’s murder. The pregnancy test was Zephyr’s. She is pregnant by Rawlins. She told Starr and he was wild since he had a vasectomy reversal. He already had one child who wasn’t his and didn’t want a second. He wanted a divorce. So she killed him. She had Rawlins’s keys and jacket after she left the car and dropped them in the barn. She took off after the Farm-to-Table gala. They caught her. Rawlins wants Nora to raise the baby. This will be three babies that Nora and Michael will be raising: Noah, Rawlins’s, and their own.
This was a rather confusing story. But eventually I followed it. There were a lot of elements to it. The plot was very complicated. Nora’s family was very involved in all the elements of the plot. It was really a very good story, though.