I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
I enjoyed this book, but I'm giving it three stars because I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first three books.
The plot was excellent and the subject matter not too many cozies authors would tackle - this book is going to either skirt or cross right over that line for a lot of folks. The subject matter doesn't offend me at all, but I have a rather wider definition of cozy mystery than some. The major plot twist was one I guessed at pretty early on, although I was never sure of the villain so the ending was both climatic and satisfying (no puns intended). I love all the old-Florida touches throughout the book.
What disappointed me about this book were the characters - Mama isn't funny anymore, she's just shallow and narcissistic; the author, imo, has lost sight of what made mama funny in the first few books. Mace's inability to get her head together as it concerns her relationship with Carlos is feeling overdone as well. She's a protagonist I can rally behind; she's smart, she's capable, she's independent. But her inability to apply her strengths in the rest of her life to her love life feels thin, contrived and tired. Time to grow up. Also, this whole Carlo-and-Mace-fight-then-just-carry-on-like-nothing-ever-happened....what the hell is that? I don't like having to be involved in hashing out my own relationship issues, so I certainly don't want to be dragged into someone else's, fictional or not, but I'm certain the author can write a scene in there somewhere to let the reader know that serious communication between these two is taking place - the talking kind, not the kind taking place in the back seat of cars in cow pastures - and problems are being addressed in a constructive, progressive manner. Otherwise, each book is going to start feeling like a broken record.
I'll be on the lookout for the next book, but I'm not going to be nearly as excited about it as I've been to this point.