Plum Deadly (by Ellie Grant)

Cozy Murder Mystery

After being falsely accused of embezzlement and fired, Maggie returns to her home town in North Carolina to lick her wounds.  Penniless and all but unemployable, she finds herself waiting tables at her aunt’s pie shop, Pie in the Sky.  

Then her former boss turns up at Pie in the Sky and tells her he knows who stole the money and has called a press conference in which he will name the real thief and clear her name. But after he turns up dead that very night she has gone from fry pan to fire and become the number one suspect in his murder.

With a little help from Ryan, a local newspaper reporter, she sets about clearing her name and finding the murderer.

Plum Deadly reminded me a lot of the Cats in Trouble mysteries by Leann Sweeney and the Coffee House mysteries by Cleo Coyle.  If I have a criticism it’s that some things were left unexplained and hanging. But it’s possible those things will be revisited in the next books in the series and for the most part I enjoyed this book.

Many thanks to Edelweiss and Gallery Books for providing me with this ARC

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (by Denise Grover Swank)

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I didn’t know anything about saving anybody. I didn’t even know where to go, let alone have a car to get there. But I did have a gun, even if I’d never shot one before. I unwrapped it, careful to point it away from me. I couldn’t find the round spinny thing for the bullets. Then I remembered, those were the kind of guns they used in prehistoric times. That covered most of the television shows I’d watched pre-cable. I was looking for the thing at the bottom of the gun. After a lot of fumbling and, I hate to admit it a little bit of cussing, I got it opened. 

 

Rose has a mundane job at the Department of Motor Vehicles. She lives with her mom and dresses like a nanna. The most interesting thing about her is she has the “second sight”, but even her visions are pretty unremarkable. She sees visions of toilets overflowing or dogs getting out of yards. Then one Friday afternoon while at work, she has a vision of herself dead in her home. Later when her mother turns up dead, suspicion immediately falls on her.

With dead bodies turning up, gangsters gunning for her, the police suspecting her and pretty much the entire town convinced she’s a murderer, things aren’t going so well for her. The one bright spot is her sexy neighbor, Joe who seems to be the only person in her corner. But he has his own secrets and at a time when she needs him most pulls away.

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is a seriously good fun murder mystery set in Arkansas. It’s a laugh out loud funny story with a quirky heroine. Most of the books I read have interesting heroines. Look at the books I read an you’ll see it time and time again. For me Rose stands out in that long list of interesting heroines as something a little more. I put her in the same league as Lisbeth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Nora (The Siren), Angel (My Life as a White Trash Zombie) and Justine (Mind Games).  I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next story about Rose Gardner.