I received a review copy
Kristin owns an antique shop in Bryn Mawr, PA, a quaint little haven for east coast WASPs (old school terms for white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, usually members of the upper or middle class). Kristen was born and raised in the small town, which has changed quite a bit over the years. A local real-estate developer, Barclay Shields, has been buying up the old homes and local farms to build new neighborhoods, full of poorly built McMansions. The old guard of Bryn Mawr is not happy about it. One night while walking her dog, Kristin she discovers Barclay – who was clobbered over the head and left for dead. Her best friend Bootsie works for the local newspaper and is determined to find the culprit. After a local chef is also attacked, more local residents become interested in solving the mystery. Every day something exciting develops in the case and there are suspects with good motives everywhere!
This is not your typical mystery. First of all, no one is actually killed, although the victims do land in the hospital. Also, the book is more funny than thrilling – and that’s not bad. This book has all the classic elements of good chick lit. Kristen is an endearing heroine who owns her own business (albeit not exactly lucrative) and has good friends. The great love of her life is her dog. She’s never been lucky in love, but that may be changing. While dabbling in a little amateur sleuthing, Kristen meets two dashing men. Mike is the mysteriously handsome groundskeeper of a local estate whom she “bumped” into while discovering Barclay’s body. Coincidence or just a chance encounter? John is a local veterinarian who is separated from the daughter of Lily Merriweather, one of the grande dames of local society. Separated is not divorced, and in Bryn Mawr, crossing a Merriweather is not recommended.
I really liked this book. It took a little while for the story to hook me, because it’s very fast paced and there are many characters to keep straight. However, once it did, I was eager to see how it all played out. The author has a quick wit and a sharp eye for details. Her descriptions of people, places, food and clothes are fabulous and always appropriate for characterization and scene setting. Also, the dialogue was clever and funny. My only complaint would be that by the end of the story, I felt myself wanting more – and by that I mean, I wanted to know Kristen and her friends better. Although the mystery was solved in the end, I was left guessing which bachelor Kristen would choose. Lucky for me, a second book is coming out in March.