Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mystery Novels Provide the Staging for Grisly Murders

Charlie Carpenter is determined to make her vintage clothing store, The Old Hat, a success. Part of her campaign to entice people to shop at The Old Hat involves getting to know the rich socialites in her small town. Joining the Agathas's mystery book club was part of the plan in spite of the fact that she feels out of place and doesn't enjoy the bitchy gossip.

On her way to an Agatha meeting, she comes across a grisly scene. Someone has been murdered. The police are out in force, including Detective Marcus Trenault, her nemesis. When she arrives at the book club meeting, shockingly, she discovers that she knows the woman who has been murdered.

A second murder raises the stakes, particularly when the murders appear to replicate murders in the books the club has been reading. Charlie can't resist the challenge of besting Marcus by solving the murders, which leads to some action-packed sleuthing.

Charlie is a heroine you have to but admire. She's stubborn and feisty, and she won't let Marcus tell her what she can and can't do. Marcus is equally stubborn and arrogant. Their encounters make the sparks fly. The other characters are also well done. Dimitri, the hair dresser and one of her best friends, is Charlie's staunch supporter and a real hero. The book club ladies are delightfully snobbish and bitchy.

The plot will keep you guessing. The author manages to put the spotlight on several characters, so it's hard to decide who the murderer is. If you like a cozy mystery with a romantic twist, you'll enjoy this book.

I received this book from Alibi for this review.