Booked 4 Murder (A Sophie Kimball Mystery #1) by J.C. Eaton
Rating: Very Good
Description: Sophie Phee Kimball is not a cop. She s a divorced, middle-aged mom who works as an account clerk for the police department in a small city in Minnesota. But her retired mother, Harriet Plunkett, is convinced Phee is the only one who can solve the mystery of a cursed book. According to Harriet, four members of her book club have already succumbed to the deadly curse. Harriet insists Phee catch the next plane to her retirement community in Sun City West, Arizona, to investigate.
Is her mother just bored and lonely? She does have a new pet a long-haired chiweenie (half Chihuahua, half Dachshund) for company and a host of pals (although that number is admittedly dwindling). Phee is certain that their book club selection isn t cursed, but is somebody really knocking off the ladies? As Phee starts to uncover dark secrets hidden in plain sight under the blazing Arizona sun, she ll need to read between the lines before it s someone else s final chapter....
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: It's a mystery about a cursed book! How could I resist?
My Impression: I've been on a roll with fantastic cozies this year but the last few have been a little flat. However, as soon as I started this one I knew my luck was changing. This mystery was so much fun! Phee is not your typical amateur detective. She's a little bit older than usual and while she does work for the police department her primary investigations involve tracking down receipts and she likes it that way. She has no interest in solving a mystery that she's pretty sure is amazing until a friend (who happens to be a police detective) convinces her that there might really be something more than a combination of boredom and a vivid imagination.
Phee puts some serious legwork into the investigation and it was really fun to watch as she figures out who to talk to and how to talk to them in a way that isn't too big of a lie but that will make people answer her questions.She's a smart investigator though not flawless and chases down some dead ends and false leads. It was a ton of fun following all the clues right along with her. The community of Sun City West is not the sleepy little retirement community that Phee thinks it is in the beginning. There's all kinds of gossip and politics and the dynamics for events is seriously complicated but very entertaining. The mystery itself is well done and while I had guessed bits and pieces the way everything came together was a surprise.
This is one of my favorite cozies of the year so far. It's on the light side but not silly and I really enjoyed the characters. It was a very quick read and kept me entertained. There's a little setup for the rest of the series at the end and I'm super excited to see where the next book goes.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author: Absolutely! The next book comes out in December (I think) and I'll be keeping an eye out for it.
Would I Recommend this Book?: If you're a cozy mystery reader this is one not to miss.