This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
In the gentle coastal town of South Cove, California, all Jill Gardner wants is to keep her store--Coffee, Books, and More--open and running. So why is she caught up in the business of murder? When Jill's elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls in a fit of pique, she already knows the city council is trying to force Emily to sell her dilapidated old house. But Emily's gumption goes for naught when she dies unexpectedly and leaves the house to Jill--along with all of her problems. . .and her enemies. Convinced her friend was murdered, Jill is finding the list of suspects longer than the list of repairs needed on the house. But Jill is determined to uncover the culprit--especially if it gets her closer to South Cove's finest, Detective Greg King. Problem is, the killer knows she's on the case--and is determined to close the book on Jill permanently. . ."
This book should fall into the category of what I think of as “cozy mysteries.” They’re the ones where someone who owns any kind of store (usually something related to books or yarn) helps solve a murder they never should have been involved in in the first place. However, this one missed the mark.
Jill Gardner is the owner of a little local store called “Coffee, Books, and More.” She was also the business liaison between the local businesses and the city council. Of course, this book is set in a small town. This particular one is set in a place called South Cove and it’s located near the California Coast.
Her two best friends in town are an elderly lady everyone called Miss Emily and Amy. Miss Emily is 80 years old and the council has been pushing her to sell her property to build condos. However, she has no intention of selling anything. Amy is the local city planner who also loves to surf whenever she can.
As I’m sure you can guess at this point, Miss Emily is the one who dies. No one thought anything of it, especially not the hunky Detective King. However, Jill pushed for an autopsy to be done because Miss Emily had never once let on that she was feeling ill. She didn’t hold things like that back from Jill, who was probably Miss Emily’s only true friend.
After Miss Emily left everything to Jill, things started to go real crazy and definitely caught the attention of Detective King. He decided maybe Jill wasn’t making things up and started investigating seriously.
All in all, the book was disappointing. It was well-written and all, but eh. Jill really didn’t contribute much to the investigation except to make everything harder on the detective. She also couldn’t seem to make a single trip to the larger town nearby to buy supplies for anything. She had to go back every single day and it became a big deal in the story. At least, it seemed to stick out more than it should in my mind. The ending was unique, but uninspired. These stories all seem to follow some formula and it’s like she missed the memo. It wasn’t much of a mystery and landed squarely in the land of “okay.” This appears to be the start of a series, but if this was a taste of what the rest will be like, I’m not interested.