Guidebook to Murder by Lynn Cahoon
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Description: Jill Gardner is busy running her own shop and working with the Chamber of Commerce in the little town of South Cove, California. When her elderly friend Miss Emily is found dead after receiving an odd letter threatening to condemn her home Jill is heartbroken and surprised. Miss Emily was older but surely her health was excellent. When an autopsy proves Jill right and the will proves that she is the heir to Miss Emily's much bigger than guessed estate Jill's busy life goes to chaotic. Suddenly she finds herself trying to solve a murder, trying to figure out if Miss Emily had other heirs, trying to keep the city from taking away her new home, and spending way too much time with handsome but possibly married Detective Greg King.
Pros: Over the years I've probably read thousands of mysteries. During that time I've been burned quite a few times with badly done and overly cutesy type cozies. Luckily, this is not one of those. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. Cahoon did a good job of making Jill a part of the investigation due to her friendship with Detective King but not running around trying to figure out the murder portion by herself. I thought Jill calling in her aunt to run the book and coffee shop was a good idea because this was already a pretty full book and adding the details to running the business on top of the mystery and the home renovations would have been way too much detail. The murderer was a surprise which is nice and doesn't happen to me very often.
Cons: I wish Jill would've just cleared the air with Greg right after she found out he was married. She spent the next 150 pages agonizing over it every time they were together when a simple (if awkward) question would've fixed it.
Overall: This is a fun mystery and the start of a series with lots of potential. The characters are interesting and for the most part likable. I enjoyed the home renovation/art subplot in this one but also look forward to more about the bookstore and coffee shop in future books.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes - I'll be keeping my eye out for the next in the series
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes