Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review - Brewed, Crude and Tattooed

Title: Brewed, Crude and Tattooed
Author: Sandra Balzo
Publisher: Severn House Publishers (June 1, 2009)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 188
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Library
Series: Maggie Thorsen #4

Thank goodness, this is finally over. There were sentences, if not paragraphs, that were painful to read. For instance, “I turned over the sheet so I could write on the back, then began to ponder. Ponderously, at that.” Really, can a person ponderously ponder?

Another thing that bothered me about this book was the rough language and crass statements. I do not remember her previous books using this type of language. I wonder why Ms. Balzo decided to change up and use the words that she did. Maybe I am a bit prudish, but I do not think that that type of language belongs in cozy mysteries. Maybe I should have taken more notice of the title, but if that was a warning, I do not recall anyone being tattooed either.

As a storm quickly approaches Benson Plaza that houses Maggy Thorsen’s coffee house, the Uncommon Ground, Maggy is trapped there with her co-owner Caron and the owners of the other shops in the strip mall.

This is not a happy group of business owners since Way Benson, the owner of the mall, is terminating their occupancy so he can replace them all with a new market. When Way’s body is discovered, there is no easy suspect since they all have their own reasons to dislike the man. When a second body appears the motive becomes a bit murkier leaving the group to discover the killer before the whole roof literally falls in on them.

For being only 188 pages, the storyline is drawn out, the repetitiveness of words is annoying, attempts at humor fall flat and referring to a female character by her last name is not what a woman would do. Women will call men by their last name, but that is a quirk that is gender specific.

I do not like this series and for me, I will be stopping here. Maggy will just have to figure out her next mystery without me.

If you are looking for a coffeehouse setting for your next mystery, I would suggest that you check out the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle.

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