When Jill Gardner moved to South Cove, CA she was looking for a fresh start after her divorce and a quiet life running a café / bookshop. But then one of her close friends, Miss Emily tells her the council and a developer are trying to bully her into selling out and shortly thereafter she turns up dead. Jill knows there is something hokey going on and convinces the town’s detective to investigate.
Adding to her woes, Miss Emily left everything to her except the family bible which she left to her greedy relatives. Now the family are threatening to sue, council is threatening to condemn the house, someone is stealing from Miss Emily’s estate and a murderer is on the loose. Throw into the mix Aztec gold and expensive art works and the scene is set for a bit of a mystery romp.
Guidebook to Murder isn’t perfect, then again nobody really expects this genre to be considered for the Man Booker Prize. The story is quite straightforward, entertaining without ever being particularly challenging. But Jill is pretty damned awesome (what’s not to love about an amateur sleuth who runs a book store?) and even if the male characters don’t light up the pages, the female characters who inhabit her world are really quite delightful and set this book a little higher than most in the genre.
Many thanks to Kensington and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.
Yellow / Orange / Red –– What it means. http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l