By Judy Moore
A Book Signing To Die For
This book had me at the title – it just screams “Cozy Mystery”, and the title is deserved.
Sounds like a comedy thought I. I wasn’t wrong, although the humour is very gentle and takes a little while to get going, this book hits all the right notes for a cozy. Not too graphic, with an amateur sleuth with an unhealthy disregard for the police, or one policeman in particular, this is the story of a young woman who wakes to the police searching the back alley behind her shop for clues to a terrible murder. The victim is a tourist/possible new neighbour who, just a few hours earlier, had been in their very own shop for the titular book signing by a famous cozy mystery author.
Could the author herself be the murderer? Or how about the son and his strangely matched wife, or her suspicious brother? Could it be related to the new development? With a list of possible suspects, and armed with a rudimentary knowledge of police procedure following a somewhat embarrassing college course, the main character is determined to get to the truth, even if it puts her life at risk. With the source of her undergrad embarrassment also coming into the picture, there are some fun moments in this novel.
To be honest, I found the opening of this novel a little slow. The introduction had me thinking that the protagonist was the elderly bookshop owner, while the entrance of the true heroine read a little like a guest star appearance on a sitcom… every one claps, they do their stint and then leave again, only in this case she turned out to be the main character. Once past this hiccup, there was a little bit of an information dump, which could possibly have been spread out a little more in the story, but overall the story was fun, there are enough plot strands to satisfy the reader and it really did keep you guessing to the end, which was well done.
The main character is sympathetic, even if a little overconfident in her novice detecting abilities, though to be fair she does indeed solve the murder. I liked her and would not mind seeing her in a follow-up tale or two.
3.5 out of 5, lost a little score on the exposition!
Grandma was my favorite character, and I almost wish she had been the heroine – she certainly has a thing for the younger man!