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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Crime Rib (Food Lovers Village, #2)

Crime Rib  - Leslie Budewitz

This book started off really well: very likeable characters, strong setting and I love the local food focus.  The MC, Erin, was my favorite kind of sleuth - observant, no sledgehammer tactics.

 

Then half-way through the book Erin decided She Must.  The Police Can't Solve This.   And she breaks into a suspect's cabin in broad daylight by climbing through the bathroom window.  In a skirt.  And then has to hide in a closet when the suspect comes back to the room.  This is followed by suspect interrogations (although they are more subtle than most), another B&E and my personal highlight of the book (not really) the "As God As My Witness..." speech she gives the sheriff at the police station.  I thought - no, I was certain -  that as I read this melodramatic oratory, the author was setting Erin up for a reality check - an "oops, I got a little carried away" moment.  But nope; apparently both author and Erin felt very passionate about their moral imperative to interfere in an ongoing investigation.

 

So what was a very strong book for the first half lost a full star in the second half because this just isn't the amateur sleuthing I like reading about.  But the author does write a fantastically well-plotted mystery.  Nothing is obvious; from whether or not the deaths are actually connected to why anyone was killed in the first place.  The author, I think, lets the reader believe they know who the murderer is, only to throw a wrench in at the last second.  I liked the ending too:  Erin wasn't predictably TSTL and the situation was handled as realistically as these things can be in cozies.