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Monday, October 19, 2015

Review - Just Killing Time

This is the first book in a new series featuring a clock shop and all things clocks.  Last Saturday I did the Soundtrack Saturday for this book (click here.)  I like fine clocks, I had a cool grandfather clock growing up, undoubtedly an inexpensive reproduction, but it still fascinated me.  So this new themed series peeked my interest.  See what you think.

Spooktacular Blog Hop is down a few posts.

Author: Julianne Holmes

Copyright: October 2015 (Berkley) 304 pgs

Series: 1st in Clock Shop Mystery series

Sensuality: mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy

Main Characters: Ruth Clagan, expert clockmaker, new owner of Cog and Sprocket

Setting: Modern day, Orchard Massachusetts (Berkshires)

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

Ruth’s grandparents were her rock during her childhood, she adored her grandmother and grandfather Thom (G.T.) passed along his love of timepieces. But, after her grandmother died and G.T. remarried, Ruth and Grandpa Thom became estranged. After her disastrous marriage and divorce, she wanted to reach out, but hadn't done it yet.  Just out of a week-long retreat she finds out G.T. has died, and she missed her chance.  Her grandfather was found dead after a break-in at his shop—and the police believe he was murdered.

Ruth rushes to town and finds she inherited her grandfather's cherished clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, in the small Berkshire town of Orchard, Massachusetts. As soon as she moves into the small apartment above the shop, she realizes G.T. had gotten involved in town politics and stirred up a hornets nest. She doesn't have much choice but to investigate because the shop is being searched and somebody really wants something  badly, probably bad enough to have killed her grandfather.

Ruth is a good heroine, recovering from a bad marriage and divorce, grieving over her grandfather's death. She was raised by her grandparents since her parents were never much for taking care of a child. Ruth is easy to like.  Pat Reed is a long time clock shop handyman who falls under suspicion. Ben Clover, is the owner of the neighboring hair salon and makes a fun potential love interest. Jeff Paisley, by-the-book Chief of Police who shows some interest in Ruth too.  Caroline, the step grandmother, who she hadn't met until now is an understanding lady.   Nancy and Moira Reed run the Sleeping Latte coffee shop diner and are old friends.  I have to mention Bezel, the shop cat who is simply a cool cat who lives at the storefront.

Orchard is a standard small town with it's share of city political strife.  The plot is good and the pacing, after the story gets established, is just right. The mystery unfolds the more Ruth settles in with subtle clues among the red herrings and the killer is a surprise.  Good job.  The wrap up is heartwarming.

I liked this debut novel.  It has depths that are surprising for a cozy. 

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list 

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