Monday, June 6, 2022

Missing Pieces by Hickey, Johnson, Lilly and Thompson

About the Book:

Elvis Has Left the Building by Cynthia Hickey
Cee Cee is hosting a jigsaw puzzle party in Apple Blossom, Arkansas, and everyone is expected to bring a brand-new 500-piece jigsaw puzzle to work on that depicts something from the 1950s. With a vintage car show, vendors, live music, and a dance, the night promises to be a great one—until the Elvis impersonator is murdered and a priceless puzzle is missing.
The Puzzle King by Linda Baten Johnson
Jane enters a jigsaw puzzle competition at the Fargo, North Dakota, fairgrounds. When a fellow competitor is poisoned, all suspects are confined at the hotel during the investigation, and Jane is determined to use her puzzle-solving skills to root out the killer.
A Puzzling Weekend by Teresa Ives Lilly
Tabitha’s first event at her new bed and breakfast in Pumpkin City, Pennsylvania, is a jigsaw puzzle mystery weekend. All is going well until the hired cook is found stabbed to death. As the prime suspect, Tabitha works with the handsome investigator—and two wily beagle dogs—to clear her name.
Mystery at the Jigsaw Swap by Janice Thompson
Mariah hopes to sell her vast puzzle collection at a jigsaw puzzle swap in Camden, Maine, at the historic opera house. But her most valuable puzzle ends up missing when another vendor is stabbed to death.

My Review:

This is a good collection of novellas centered around jigsaw puzzles. As is often the case with a collection, I found the quality of the writing and plot structure varied. I felt the first one was kind of silly. Going from place to place to keep from the bad guy seemed kind of dumb. Perhaps, as others have suggested, it was a parody of cozy mysteries. The second story offered a little information in that I did not know about puzzles where the cover picture does not accurately depict the puzzle inside. The cat shown on the cover may be orange when the cat in the puzzle may actually be gray. The third novella was most like the mysteries I enjoy. There is a murder and a person is framed for it. There are a limited number of suspects and there are even a couple of dogs who help solve the mystery. The last story had a weak heroine. She forgets to tell the police information in a timely manner and when she identifies the culprits, I'm not sure I understood at all how she solved the case.

This collection of novellas would be of interest to readers who also enjoy jigsaw puzzles. You'll find out a bit about them, be introduced to four authors, and enjoy solving mysteries at some level.

My rating: 4/5 stars. 

Barbour, 448 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.)

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