Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review: Grounds for Murder by John Russo

An enjoyable cozy mystery set in a quaint New England hamlet is what you'll find in Grounds for Murder by John Russo.

When several residents in Eastport, Connecticut become seriously ill, Nora Huggins decides to investigate. A wife, mother, and lover of mysteries, she soon discovers the one thing all of the victims have in common is a trip to the new coffeehouse in town, Café Caffé.

When Winnie Miller dies and her twin sister, Ginnie, doesn't hold the coffeehouse responsible, Nora becomes suspicious, fearing that Winnie might have been murdered.

Can Nora and the local police follow the clues to prove Nora's hunch?

Author John Russo blends an interesting plot, a popular setting, and an engaging set of characters to create a short cozy that readers are sure to enjoy.

Nora is the perfect amateur sleuth: involved around town, a wife and mother, and a lover of mysteries. She flows freely about town asking the right questions and uncovering the clues that lead her to the newly opened coffeehouse. While it seems she's discovered a motive for the attacks on patrons of the coffeehouse, once Winnie Miller dies, she's afraid there's more to this mystery than meets the eye.

Since this is a such a short e-Book (43 pages), the character development suffered a bit. As a character driven reader that put me at a bit of a disadvantage. I wanted to know more about Nora and her family. A plot driven reader would like how quickly the story moves along. It's definitely a book that keeps you turning the pages as Nora uncovers more clues.

I was a bit surprised how much Nora worked with the local police department to solve the crime. Typically a cozy has the amateur sleuth butting heads with the local police who want the untrained citizens to leave the investigation to the professionals. A sergeant allows her to view Winnie's autopsy report, which seemed more than a bit unusual to me. With today's privacy laws, how could that happen? I tried to pick up a copy of my father-in-law's car accident report recently because he lives out of town, and I had to answer so many questions before they would release the two-page document to me that you would think I was trying to uncover Kentucky Fried Chicken's secret recipe.

That aside, I hope to see Eastport's favorite amateur sleuth back in action again soon.

Title: Grounds for Murder
Author: John Russo
Publisher:  MuseItUp Publishing
ISBN:  978-0-9865875
SRP:  $2.50 (e-Book)


Roseanne Dowell said...

Great review. I can't wait to read this book. I love mysteries.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by Roseanne. Glad you liked the review.