This is the second time this year that I’ve read a new cozy mystery written by an Indie Author, who has delightfully written against the grain of traditional publishing’s expectations for the genre while still giving me what I love. In this one, I was pleased to discover dogs and squirrels instead of cats; and a flamboyant dress designer instead of a kindly elderly lady. These tiny, inventive details are what made this story so enjoyable.
Ms. Mooney is a wonderful storyteller who draws you into her mystery much like an imaginative child might tell you a story, with a sincere enthusiasm for sharing her imagination. Her plot has all the recognizable distractions of every day life, juxtaposed with the mystery of a crafty “whodunit”. At each turn of the page, I became more immersed in the next “you’ll never believe it” moment. The effect was refreshingly dramatic.
This is book seven in a series, but honestly, I didn’t feel lost for jumping into the middle of the fray. The characters have been clearly defined with enough backstory that I felt as if these were friends I’d just recently met. Perhaps I didn’t know every detail of their history, but as it is when you meet new people, that didn’t really matter. What made all the difference in my enjoyment of this story was that I felt they were indeed real people, with real frustrations and joys in their personal lives, moments I could relate to easily.
The mystery was exciting, with twisty bits I didn’t see coming. I worked hard to pay attention and predict the outcome, but like the weather, even though we understand the rules of science, that doesn’t always mean Mother Nature complies. Sometimes, a small squall comes up and tussles your boat of rationality upon the waters of intrigue. I found each new piece of evidence and possible suspect shifted my perspective on who the culprit might be. Truly, I didn’t know who the perpetrator was until the reveal. That is very satisfying. To have my need for an intricate detective story, while also being comforted by real people, schnauzers, and squirrels was satisfying and simply nice. And there’s a lot to be said for nice.
I will certainly go back and read this series from the beginning… or, I might just read them out of order… but I will absolutely read them. I appreciate good writing, and even more so when it’s provided to me by the hands of an imaginative Indie Author.
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