Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Kaitlyn Dunnett
Kensington, October 2009
256 pages
ISBN: 0758216475

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Liss MacCrimmon runs The Scottish Emporium in Moosetookalook Maine, a very nice small town that's just barely getting by in this tough economic climate. When she discovers a forgotten shipment of Tiny Teddies in the back of the storeroom she thinks they're cute, and puts a couple out just to see how well they'll do. When she discovers that they are THE hot toy this holiday season, all bets are off. It seems that two weeks before Christmas pretty nearly every one that was for sale in the continental US and Canada has now been bought - and here she has found a 100 of the precious things. She could make a killing!

But Liss loves her hometown and has been saddened to see it declining. Figuring that promoting the sale of the items as a town-centric event will help everybody, she goes ahead with a program set to lure as many shoppers as possible to the town, figuring that the other merchants (many of them her friends and/or family) will also benefit. Their variant of "The Twelve (Shopping) Days of Christmas" works beautifully for a while, but soon runs afoul of the more mercenary and desperate impulses among both the sellers and the buyers. Not to mention libidinous qualities, as several local couples run into romantic quagmires that turn deadly, including Liss and the two men in her life.

This third in the Liss MacCrimmon series might have fallen into the usual cosy traps: too sweet, too romantic, too formulaic, etc., but manages to skirt almost all of them. The plotting is good, with numerous twists and turns, and a very strong resolution that doesn't stoop to too much "female in jeopardy" stuff, a common problem with cosies and one of my Pet Peeves. Ditto the addition of romance, always a chancy thing in a cosy, as everyone's tolerance for romance in a mystery is different; my own tendency is for the absolute minimum, and for my taste there was a bit too much here, but there really wasn't a lot, and it wasn't coy or cute (another Pet Peeve), just perhaps a mite contrived at times. Luckily by the end Liss's mixups with her two lovers seem to be sorted out, with her preference finally slanting definitely toward one particular hunk. And the romance never gets in the way of the mystery plot.

Pacing was a bit slow but decent, and the characterizations were very good. A nice sense of humor with tart little bits sprinkled throughout helped immensely. The home-town, rural Maine "hick schtick" sort of thing was only very gently touched upon, and the cuteness level was surprisingly quite low, both immense assets. The over-all mix was comfortable, friendly, intriguing and funny - all very good things to have in a cosy mystery, at least in my estimation. I enjoyed this very much. Why not treat yourself to a little present?

Reviewed by Abbey Hamilton, November 2009

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]