This is the first in a new series. Lexi, the heroine manages her parents' bookstore so there is a little bit about books and selling. A mystery book groups meets there so there is a bit of an exploration of fiction components such as point of view and plot structure, particularly those of Agatha Christie. Lexi is also secretly writing a mystery herself. That turns out to be a problem, however, when the grouchy neighbor she has murdered in her novel actually does get murdered.
For me, the best aspect of this novel was the location, a fictional town on the east side of the Oregon Cascades, not too far from Bend. I liked the mention of the mountains and lakes and hikes nearby. The area is beautiful high desert and it was fun to have a novel set there.
Investigating the murder for Lexi turns out to be mostly talking to people. It is a typical small town harboring lots of gossip and secrets and grudges. I had mixed feelings about Lexi. She has some friends who help her in her quest and I liked that. But Lexi herself has a tendency to be sarcastic to those who irritate her. That's not a great personality trait for a store manager. And, while her rescue dog is a good sidekick and helps her with the mystery, I do wish Lexi would have kept her on a leash.
This is an entertaining cozy mystery, especially for dog lovers.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Crooked Lane Books, 336 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the author. 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.)