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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.

A Wee Murder in My Shop (ScotShop Mystery, #1)

A Wee Murder in My Shop - Fran Stewart

I started this one yesterday with all the bad reviews I've recently read in the back of my mind, thinking 'I'll start this one, and DNF it if it's as bad as everyone says' and I'd have another book off the TBR pile.


But it actually wasn't as bad as I'd expected.  It's actually not that bad at all.  The characters are ok: Peggy, the MC, isn't someone I'd be clamouring for as a BFF in real life, but she's not unlikeable and the secondary characters all have a bit of life to them.  Dirk, the ghost, feels real and ghosty enough, although I don't like the name "Dirk" - it's a nickname Peggy gives him because his real name is Macbeth.


The story itself is slow; the author takes her time building up the background, having Peggy find Dirk, and establish the setting before the dead body is ever found in chapter 11.  This pace might be too exasperating for some, who prefer the bodies to drop as close to chapter 1 as possible, but I didn't mind; the progression felt more natural and I wasn't subjected to an info-dump.


The mystery was well-plotted and there was just the barest hint of the murderer given if you paid close enough attention.  The reveal didn't surprise me, but I wouldn't have been at all surprised if it had been someone else, either.  I also really appreciated the lack of amateur sleuthing so popular these days: Peggy wasn't actively trying to find the murderer so much as solve a related puzzle, and I loved this angle.


The author leaves enough small character-related questions left open for me to think she's aiming for a slow building of her 'universe' over time.  Questions are left unanswered about Dirk and about the possible romantic interest's past (Harper), and I'll happily read the second book to see how many of those questions are answered.


[PopSugar 2015 Challenge:  A book with bad reviews.]