A Most Curious Murder (A Little Library Mystery #1) by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli
Rating: Very Good
Description: Jenny Weston moves home to Bear Falls, Michigan to nurse her bruised ego back to health after a bitter divorce. But the idyllic vision of her charming hometown crumbles when her mother's little library is destroyed. The next door neighbor, Zoe Zola, a little person and Lewis Carroll enthusiast, suspects local curmudgeon Adam Cane, but when he's suddenly found dead in Zoe's fairy garden, all roads lead back to her. Jenny, however, believes Zoe is innocent, so the two women team up to find the true culprit, investigating the richest family in Bear Falls, interrogating a few odd townspeople and delving into old hidden transgressions - until another body turns up. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli's quaint and compelling series debut A Most Curious Murder will delight cozy mystery readers new and old.
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: Really all I saw were the words "library" and "fairy garden" and I knew I had to have it!
My Impression: I'm very glad I didn't read this blurb too closely because if I'd really noticed the Alice in Wonderland inspiration I might have passed on this one. I think I would have worried about how the nonsense of Alice would translate into a modern day mystery. Instead it turned out to be a delightful whimsical touch to a solid mystery.
The story starts with newly divorced Jenny Weston arriving at her mother's and discovering her mother's beloved little library smashed to pieces. While processing that she encounters her mother's new neighbor Alice fan, author and lover of all things fairy, Zoe Zola. Most of the Alice-ness is concentrated in Zoe's big personality as she loves to quote from the book and goes into her own nonsensical ramblings frequently dragging Jenny along with her in the banter. Jenny is a likable main character. She has her hangups but even her seeming fixation on an old boyfriend works because it doesn't feel like she's still in love with him but more that their breakup is tangled up in so much emotion that she's never taken the time to deal with. The mystery soon goes from trying to figure out who would destroy the little library that the community loves so much to a murder investigation and Zoe has a gift for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As the evidence adds up against Zoe Jenny can't help but become involved in trying to prove the woman's innocence and trying to figure out the real murderer is. Along the way Jenny's sister Lisa, her mother Dora, carpenter Tony, and old high school classmate turned lawyer Penelope all join the merry band of misfits to figure out just what is going on in the Cane family. While I did figure out the who relatively early on there were lots of why I couldn't wait to find out about. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this series goes next. It's off to a strong start!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely! I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series and more books from the author.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Absolutely! If you enjoy cozy mysteries this is one not to miss. You don't have to like Alice in Wonderland but it's an extra treat if you're familiar with the story.