Monday, February 22, 2016

REVIEW: A Dickens of a Murder

A Dickens of a Murder (A Canterville Book Shop Mystery)
Authors: Joyce & Jim Lavene
Kindle Version

Lisa Wellman has just gone into business with Simon Canterville. They are opening a book shop in Simon's old, Victorian home. Their plans take a detour when Ebeneezer Hart, a man who had filed a petition against the shop opening in a residential area, is found dead, hanging from the roof. The evidence against her business partner mounts up quickly. Things are further complicated when the police officer who shows up first to the crime scene is Lisa's ex-husband, Daniel.

Can Lisa resist the charms of her hunky cop ex, while proving that her business partner didn't commit murder? Will the surprise late night intruder (that only Lisa can see) help or hinder her investigation?

This was a cute, fun read, despite some obvious plot holes and contrived situations. For example, a 911-operator would not accuse a caller of crank calls and hang up on them, multiple times. People seeing a body hanging in a strange position from the roof of a house would not be standing around wondering if it was the cable guy -- they would call the police, knowing full well the man was dead. And a librarian would not tell a experienced detective that she knows as much about murder investigations as he does because she has attended mystery writer conventions. There were several eye-roll, facepalm moments for me while reading this book. Situations and dialogue that just wouldn't happen. I can suspend reality pretty easily while reading....I just can't kill it and bury it under a rock.

But....this is a cozy mystery, and they are meant to be cute, fun reads, not police procedurals or well-plotted masterpieces. The fun elements in the story got me past the facepalm moments for the most part. There were times when I wished I could tell the main character to shut up and stop acting so stupid. Attending mystery writer conventions does not make anyone an expert in murder investigation!

All in all, a cute, fun read. The writing and plot could have been better, but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book.

My rating: 6/10
Ages 10+

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