on May 16, 2017
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Also in this series: Guidebook to Murder, Mission to Murder, If the Shoe Kills, Dressed To Kill, Killer Run, Murder on Wheels, Tea Cups and Carnage, Killer Party, Rockets' Dead Glare, Santa Puppy, Memories and Murder
A visit to the serene coastal town of South Cove, California, could make anybody feel refreshed and inspired. But as Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—discovers, some folks won’t live to tell about it . . .
Mystery author Nathan Pike checked into South Cove Bed & Breakfast to compose a compelling novel, not commit murder. But things get real when a rival B&B owner ends up exactly like the victim in his draft—undeniably dead. As Nathan prepares to complete his magnum opus behind bars, Jill’s the only one who can prove his innocence and deconstruct the plot of a twisted killer!
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
It’s always fun spending time in South Cove, and I enjoyed my eighth visit there. By this time, most of the residents are old acquaintances. I was happy to see that Jill and Greg are finally discussing the next stage in their relationship. (It’s about time!) Aunt Jackie is softening her edges a little; Harrold is good for her. But I’m worried about her health. Things are changing on other fronts, too, with a new clock shop in town, and changes ahead for Sasha and Toby.
That said, the mysteries—a missing boy and a murdered B&B owner—didn’t feel like the focus of the book. Although the boy is missing from the start, and the murder occurs fairly early on, Jill doesn’t really get started on investigating until quite late in the story. The beginning and some of the middle are taken up with the concerns of her everyday life: her shop, Coffee, Books & More; studying for her business classes at a nearby university; and the fraught question of whether she and Greg should move in together. When there are developments in one or the other of the mysteries, they occur and Jill is involved or hears about it, rather than Jill actively investigating. On the one hand, that is more realistic and makes sense, given Jill’s personality and situation: she’s on the town’s business council; she’s the girlfriend of the town’s police detective; she lives across the street from the police secretary/dispatcher; and she’s best friends with someone who works in the mayor’s office. Naturally, in such a small town, she’s bound to hear about or be connected in some way to almost everything that takes place. And while she’s innately curious and a natural detective, she knows Greg doesn’t want her involving herself in his investigations, so she tries to hold back. Given the distractions of her daily life, I suppose she was more successful than usual this time. But it made for a somewhat lopsided mystery, with most of the clues and revelations coming toward the end.
Book 9 in the series, Killer Party, is due out in July. I hope Jill is a little more engaged in the mystery this time around, but I’ll be looking forward to it regardless. The Tourist Trap mysteries are light, cozy, and fun, a good choice for a hot summer afternoon.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Clean Sweep ARC Challenge 2017