What’s Guidebook to Murder about?
In Guidebook to Murder… Jill Gardner is an ex-lawyer. She gave up her family law practice to open her own store Coffee Books and More, in small town California. Jill is happy with her life until her dear elderly friend, Emily, dies suddenly.
Emily left Jill almost everything she owned, including her house. She also left her to deal with a nephew, the town council and a few secrets. On top of those challenges, Jill is convinced that Emily was murdered.
Tell us more…
The author does a lovely job of weaving a few other mysteries and sub-plots into the overall murder mystery. Stolen paintings, a missing best friend, a handsome Police Detective, pirate gold and Jill’s Aunt Jackie fill out the story, adding interest, danger and intrigue. All the mysteries are solved but some sub-plots continue into the next book and the series.
Why we liked it…
The characters are well-developed with a bit of stereotyping in the bad guys. I liked Jill very much. She is intelligent and stands up for herself, but she is a bit self-conscious and her empathy makes her gullible.
Jill’s character provides the emotion in this story. Her empathy and occasional naivete create moments of tears, angst and laughter. She also has a unique home design style that sparked both my imagination and fascination.
A Final Word…
This mystery has emotion, drama and excitement. The clues and curves created so much eagerness and suspense that halfway through, I was tempted to peek at the end. But I didn’t and of course, was happy that I waited.
I highly recommend Guidebook to Murder and her series to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries.