Series: Tourist Trap Mysteries #5
Published by Kensington on August 18th 2015
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Source: the publisher through NetGalley
Also in this series: Guidebook to Murder, Mission to Murder, If the Shoe Kills, Dressed To Kill, Murder on Wheels, Tea Cups and Carnage, Hospitality and Homicide, Killer Party, Rockets' Dead Glare, Santa Puppy
Also by this author: Guidebook to Murder, Mission to Murder, If the Shoe Kills, Dressed To Kill, Murder on Wheels, Tea Cups and Carnage, A Story to Kill, Hospitality and Homicide, Killer Party, Of Murder and Men, Rockets' Dead Glare, Santa Puppy
Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast. The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society—but not everyone is feeling so charitable…
The day of the race, everyone hits the ground running…until a local business owner stumbles over a very stationary body. The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife team hired to promote the event—and the husband turns to Jill for help in clearing his name. But did he do it? Jill will have to be very careful, because this killer is ready to put her out of the running…forever!
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Guest Post by Author Lynn Cahoon
Thanks for having me back for the Killer Run blog tour. Last time I visited we talked about great places to hide the body, or in writer language, setting.
I thought this time I’d talk a little bit about other ways I get my ideas. In Killer Run, Jill and the South Cove gang are sponsoring a 5K run. I love the idea of the town pulling together to raise money for their favorite (or not so favorite) charity.
Centering a book around an event that the entire town is participating in, gives the author a chance to bring in a lot of different town folk and help mold their character. Like Lille who runs Diamond Lille’s, the diner. In the last few books, she’s been grumpy and antagonistic towards Jill, my main character. Mostly it’s because of Jill’s part in sending one of Lille’s bad boy boyfriends to the big house. But sometimes, characters (read people) just don’t like each other. There’s something that just irks you about the way they dress, or act, or even breathe.
Lille and Jill are like that. Maybe it’s the similarity in their names. Or the fact they both have food related businesses in a small town, no matter what the reason, their relationship has always been at best competitive, and at worse, cutthroat. In Killer Run, Jill and the reader gets to see a softer side of Lille. One that continues in Murder on Wheels, Book 6 (available in February 2016.)
Killer Run also brings in a new character and a new business. Harrold is the owner/operator of The Train Stop, a model train store. I love little specialty stores like this, even if I’m not a model train hobbyist. And with each new character and new place, South Cove gets a little more complete.
I love my visits to South Cove and as I write this, I’m preparing to jump back into the California coastal mind set this week as I start Tourist Trap #6, Murder on Wheels. I’ll be bringing in an all new shop with all new problems. I hope Jill is up to the task.
What’s your favorite character you love to hate? Why?
* * *
Thank you, Lynn, for stopping by today! I always enjoy hearing about how authors get their ideas. And I’ve enjoyed watching South Cove come to life as we meet new characters and shops. Harrold is one of my favorites so far!
* * *
I’m still enjoying this light, breezy, sometimes humorous cozy series, particularly as some of the secondary characters get a little more character development and as new “regulars” are added. In Killer Run, we meet Harrold, the proprietor of a model-train shop in South Cover. He is getting on in years, and he’s a real sweetheart — I really hope we see a lot more of him. We also get to see more of Lille, for whom I have had a sneaking liking since the beginning. She’s brash and outspoken and has quite a temper, but I’ve had a suspicion there is more to her than that, and after this book I’m sure of it. She and Jill don’t get along, but they might – just might – have discovered a little common ground this time around.
Jill and Greg are both in fine form, of course – and still at odds over Jill’s investigating. Amy puts in a few appearances, as do Esmeralda and Darla. Aunt Jackie is, as always, a treat – sharp on the outside and soft on the inside. Toby is delightfully Toby, and Jill’s newest hire, Sasha, is doing well at Coffee, Books, and More.
As for the mystery, it has its ups and downs. There’s a fairly tense climactic scene which puts several people in significant danger (no, I’m not telling you who!); it had me turning pages as quickly as I could. On the other hand, I spotted the murderer before there was even a murder, and pegged the victim as one of two people, almost certainly one of them – and I was right on both counts. I didn’t have any evidence at that point, just instinct, but it was a little disappointing to be right – it’s much more fun to be surprised, or to struggle with the question of whodunnit until close to the end. Incidentally, there’s also a secondary mystery involving vandalism of one of South Cove’s stores, and (without giving anything away) it seemed to me that some things in that mystery weren’t completely explained. Based on those issues, I’d say that Killer Run is the weakest mystery of any of the books so far.
One thing that also perplexes me is that there’s barely a mention of Greg’s ex-wife. Given her determination to get Greg back, which was very evident in the last book, her absence from this one didn’t make sense. Not that I like the woman or particularly want to see more of her! But I found her absence odd.
Despite my quibbles, I did enjoy Killer Run, as much because I got to catch up with Jill and the gang as for any mystery. All the same, if you haven’t read this series, I suggest starting at the beginning. Familiarity with (and fondness for) the characters will carry you through the occasional rough spots in this book and leave you glad you spent a few more hours with Jill, Greg, Aunt Jackie, and crew.
Besides, you get a lot of background in the previous books that make it easier to keep track of who is who. It’s a large and growing cast, and promises to keep growing along with the series.
* * *
CHALLENGES: Read for COYER Scavenger Hunt #39: a book with no living thing on the cover; AND Cruisin’ Through the Cozies.
* * *
- August 18 – Lisa Ks Book Review – Review, Guest Post
- August 19 – Babs Book Bistro – Review
- August 20 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
- August 21 – Laura’s Interests – Review
- August 21 – Book Babble – Review
- August 22 – readalot – Review
- August 22 – Latte’ Da! – Guest Post
- August 23 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
- August 24 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Guest Post
- August 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
- August 25 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
- August 26 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post
- August 27 – View from the Birdhouse – Interview
- August 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Scavenger Hunt - Summer 2015
- Cruisin' Thru the Cozies 2015