I reviewed the debut novel in this new series, Just Killing Time (click here), and had a guest post from the author (click here). It has the running theme of a clock shop and all things fine clocks. Check out this addition to the series.
Copyright: August 2016 (Berkley) 304 pgs
Series: 2nd in Clock Shop Mystery series
Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Main Characters: Ruth Clagan, expert clock maker and owner of Cog & Sprocket
Setting: Modern day, Orchard Massachusetts (Berkshires)
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Ruth has three days to pull off four events—including the grand reopening of Cog and Sprocket, the clock shop she inherited from her grandfather—so she doesn’t have time for Beckett Green’s spiteful nonsense. The competitive owner of a new bookstore, Green seems determined to put other shops out of business by carrying their specialty items. He’s trying to steal Ruth’s new watchmaker, Mark Pine, not to mention block her plans to renovate the town clock tower.
Ruth is already all wound up when she’s alarmed to discover Mark’s dead body. As the denizens of Orchard each chime in as to who they think the murderer is, Ruth needs to watch her back as she investigates on her own. Despite the danger, Ruth won’t stop until the killer is behind bars and serving time.
Ruth is a good heroine, level headed and making up for some lost time and a few regrets. Ben Clover, is the owner of the neighboring hair salon and makes a fun potential love interest. He is the guy-next-door character, average man who you root for. Jeff Paisley, by-the-book Chief of Police who is dating Ruth's friend but must handle the rumor mill in this small town. Caroline, the step-grandmother has her past catching up with her which was a great touch. Bezel, the shop cat deserves a mention, just for being the shop cat.
The setting is a standard small town with the standard enclave of shops. It is the week between Christmas and New Year’s and the shops are trying to provide a coordinated event to bring business from surrounding areas. There is a dichotomy of the community minded versus the every-man-for-himself that has elevated to the city council. I appreciated the tension in the story with this scenario rather than impossible family members (just saying).
The plot was well executed as the murder victim wasn't who I was expecting from the setup although, as the story progressed I could tell what direction it was headed. Not, to say that was bad, it was well presented and pacing kept my interest throughout. The culprit was fairly presented and gradually revealed with clues that I enjoyed putting together. While still a cozy, the plot was nicely more developed.
The killer reveal had some nice suspenseful moments like I enjoy. Kudos on that. The wrap up tied up all the loose ends and left me looking forward to the next book.
This cozy sets up a nicely involved plot, has characters you become invested in, and the setting is just enough to add tension with small town politics.
Rating: Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list.
**I have gotten very behind with my reading, reviewing, and posting - my apologies.