Title: Guidebook to Murder Author: Lynn Cahoon Published: April 1st 2014 by Kensington Publishing Format: Paperback, 228 pages Genre: Cozy Mystery Series: A Tourist Trap Mystery #1
Set in South Cove, California a small coastal town, the reader is introduced to Jill Gardner, once a lawyer and now the owner of Coffee, Books and More.
When Jill had first set foot in South Cove, she was befriended by Miss Emily, a cantankerous older woman that seemed to get great joy out of bothering the mayor and city council. Now Miss Emily has been found dead in her home and as the death has been declared a murder, Jill is in high gear trying to find the culprit.
To add complication to the matter, Jill is the beneficiary of Miss Emily’s estate and the town’s people begin to wonder if she was behind the murder. No, Jill has other ideas since a land developer has been snooping around and wants to offer way more than the property is worth.
The book ended with an interesting find and I hope that this part of the story will continue in the next book as it was left somewhat dangling.
Since this was the first book in a planned series, I thought it was more of an introduction to the recurring characters and letting the readers get the proverbial lay of the land.
The plot follows the usual cozy. There is a small business, a love interest, a twist in a murder, a best friend, a family member that comes to stay, a home with character, a small town, a dog, etc. That is not to denigrate the book, just stating that it is following the usual format and though there is only a single murder, there is enough going on in the periphery to keep the reader engaged.
Overall, it is a good entry in the cozy mystery field. There is a great deal of growth that can be offered and I am curious as to where Ms. Cahoon will go with her main character and her small town.