4 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank Henery Press for an ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.
Another terrific bit of cosy crime and a new series to add to my list of ‘must read’!
Although this is the second book in the series ‘An Ivy Meadows Mystery’, the author has written it well and I was able to enjoy it as a stand-alone book – having not read the first book in the series. Yes there were some references to the first book, some obvious character building and introductions done in the first book that were referenced in this second one, but Ms Brown also gave quick catch up references in ‘The Sound of Murder’ so a reader new to the series felt up to speed in no time. I liked that, as I often find myself thrown into a series mid-way and always appreciate an author thinking about that. She didn’t spend long retelling previously known facts (for those who had read the first book), just some simple one liners to get everyone up to speed. It was done well.
As for the story line? I loved it. I may not be a huge fan of musical theatre, but I know enough to have gotten a giggle out of the mash-up and could see it working as a real off Broadway production… if it already isn’t one!
The characters were well written, well defined (meaning I didn’t get them confused with each other like I have done in other books) and the plot well thought out. Had me guessing and thinking all the way through and when the final pieces of the puzzle fell into place I’d not yet figured it out myself. That alone is rare and another reason I enjoyed it. There was a plausible reason for the crimes too, not just a sudden twist that explains an improbable situation. So, despite being a cosy crime, it was one that had been well thought out and as realistic as a cosy crime can be.
And I do love a clever (camouflaged as ditsy), strong heroine who doesn’t always get the perfect happy ending, but gets the job done all the same. All round, a highly enjoyable read.
Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I would. It was a terrific cosy crime. Well written, perfect balance of tongue in cheek and crime fiction and totally enjoyable. I would mention it was the second book in the series, but that it was still fine to read without reading the first.
Would I buy this book for myself? Yes I would. I really did enjoy this series and am keen to now get my hands on book one in the series ‘MacDeath’ as well as keeping an eye out for more books to come. Great cosy crime read. I ended the book with “no, this can’t be the end… I want more!” so that is just some perfect writing to have the reader hanging out for the next instalment – well done!
In summary: Not the first book in the series, but easy enough to read as if it were (or was a stand-alone book). If you’re a lover of cosy crime set in modern day America, you will enjoy this tale. I highly recommend you check it out.
Until next time,