This cozy novel was a bit of a slow read for me. I had a little difficulty getting in to it and being engaged by it. Lyla is a good heroine in that she wants to be an actual private investigator. I like female amateur sleuths. She just did not seem to have to mind for it, however. She is not the strong kind of character I like. The members of her book club were interesting but not to the point of being engaging. I would have liked less entertaining and doing southern things and more serious sleuthing.
The plot was complex and I am not sure I understood all of it. There is the current mystery of the body of one of the book club members being dumped on Lyla's door step, in a suitcase no less. Lyla and the others find out this woman had been investigating a murder from some time ago. Lyla tries to figure them both out and really doesn't seem to do too good of a job at it. She bumbles into solving the mystery in the end and did show some quick thinking at the final suspense.
I liked the idea of a group of women reading murder mysteries and then becoming involved in solving real mysteries. They wade through a number of red herrings. It seems like so many could have done the murders. The actual murderer was not a surprise but the reason for the contemporary death was a bit convoluted.
I think Lyla has potential as an amateur sleuth. I'd like to see her toughen up a bit, be more independent, and develop her head for investigations. I'll check out the next in the series to see how Lyla and the others hone their skills.
My rating: 3/5 stars.
Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. She lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband and their three kids. You can find out more at www.kateyoungbooks.com.
Crooked Lane Books, 311 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)