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Pains and Penalties

(A Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  559 ratings  ·  74 reviews
A new amateur sleuth is on the case in the first book of the Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery novella series.

Small-town life brings big-city problems when Kalina Greystone returns home to Ellesworth, MA to take over the family's comic book shop. A murder in plain sight at the annual Solstice Fair pushes Kalina to snoop where she doesn't belong, much to the chagrin of former h
Kindle Edition, 77 pages
Published March 22nd 2016 by Sarah Biglow
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  559 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mystery
2 Stars
A short and sweet mystery with major problem for me see spoiler for plot issues, little to no character development but that is expected with something so short.
(view spoiler)
Nov 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Sometimes the only reason to keep reading a book is because it is short. This was the case here, and I am sad to say the book was not mercifully short. It was a hard task to struggle through it.

Kalina owns a store for comics and games and takes some of her merchandise to the town's annual Solstice fair. At the fair one of the blue ribbon winners of the bake off dies after drinking some tea and Kalina decides to investigate. Why? I don't know. Perhaps because everyone immediately started telling
Pains and Penalties was a free find on Amazon (I can't resist downloading free books, no matter how long it takes me to actually read them), and I thought it would be a light little mystery to entertain me for a little. It delivered exactly what I hoped for.

The characters were likable enough. The story was well done, with a believable twist for the end. The foreshadowing built up nicely, and kept me guessing at what was to come through the entire read. It could definitely use another quick edit,
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-english
Finally, a cozy mystery that made me realize why I like the genre. I haven't had much luck with cozy mysteries lately, and I was wondering if maybe I just wasn't into the genre anymore, but I really enjoyed this a lot. The characters were interesting and the story was believable and it was a fun read!
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fun book to read with great characters. This is the 1st book I have read from this author and look forward to reading more, especially more in the series since this is the first one. Quick read, hard to put down.
Susan Webb
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
very fast paced and too easily solved, but it was a short story.
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks, own-it
Kalina's determination to investigate was annoying, inexplicable and arrogant. The police were treating the death as suspicious, investigating and had forensics yet Kalina decides she has to figure out what is going on so she interrogates witnesses and researches poison on her laptop. Umm pretty sure police can identify the poison with forensics and know what questions to ask witnesses and friends of the victim and don't need a busy body with no training stuffing things up. This detracted mighti ...more
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found Pains and Penalties by Sarah Biglow on Amazon when I was searching for a cozy mystery to read yesterday morning and this one had everything I was looking for and so much more. his is the first book in the Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery Novella Series. I was thrilled to find this series is based on a comic book store owner and I found this fast paced cozy was very well written. A great mystery awaits you that was very interesting and wound neatly around the story. I loved main character Ka ...more
Kai Charles(Fiction State Of Mind)
Coyer Summer Bash

I was drawn to this book because it was free! And because the main characte owns a comicbook shop. A posioning pens up a door to the past and a rising body count. This was a quick read and satisfying. An interesting cast of characters.
Ted Tayler
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
"A moral tale"

If you prefer things to be light and fluffy, then this will hit the spot. If this has a message; I missed it.
Magda Żmijan
The mystery is simple but nicely developed. Writing style is pleasant, maybe not perfect, but good enough to enjoy the story without being bothered by some weirdness.

I really liked Kalina. True, there wasn't much character development in the story, but it's a 77-page story, so I think it's acceptable. There was enough information there to make me enjoy reading about her little adventure. After all, she owns a shop with geeky things! Games, t-shirts, gadgets - all a geek like me might want :P.

I t
Goth Gone Grey
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, mystery
Geek mystery! I'm so in!

Unfortunately, the book didn't live up to my hopes, even with a mention of Zombie Dice. This genre seems to rely heavily on women who are better at police work than their hot police boyfriends to be, current or ex boyfriends, depending on the book. This is no exception, with shoddy police work and a quirky woman who saves the day.

The writing was good, but predictable. I figured out the whodunit long before the big reveal, and the recurring glaring lapses in police procedu
Ms. Cat's World
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novella packed a very quick punch from beginning to end. To me it read as if this was a follow on from some prequel-based book because a lot had actually happened in the pasts of the main characters that led them to this day and age. Hoping that means we learn more about their pasts as the series continues into Forgive & Forget! 

I digress though! Fifteen years have passed since Kalina Greystone (Kal) left her home in the small town of Ellesworth. Fifteen years since she had seen her high sc
Lis Carey
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction, novella
Kalina Greystone has returned home to the apparently fictional small town of Ellesworth, on the Massachusetts South Coast, in the equally fictional Salem County.. She's running the comics store she inherited from her father, and employing her nephew, AJ, as, currently, her sole staff. In keeping with both tradition and good marketing, they're participating in the town's annual Solstice Fair.

The baking competition gets a bit more exciting than usual, when the winning scones are not Mrs. Grant. Sh
William Stanger
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of my reading challenges, the Full House Reading challenge, had a cozy mystery as one of the books to read. So, I found this one for free at Amazon and thought I'd give it a try. It wasn't a long book, but was long enough to be a decent read. I actually enjoyed it more than I though I would and may even check out other books in the series at some time. The story was about a young woman returning to the town where she grew up after her father died to run his comic book store, which she had in ...more
Anna del C. Dye
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Geek and Things, is a clean, cozy murder mystery that will keep you glued to its pages from beginning to end. I enjoyed the tale and the telling and found Geeks and Things the most entertaining book of its genre. The plot is strong and the timing perfect to keep you going to the next page. It is well written with a great line of characters. It's a great book to have in any library, adult even YA.
Kalina Greystone takes over her father's store...Geeks and things after his death. She has returned t
Wary, but interested

Okay, this was such a short story that I wasn’t quite sure that the author would be able to pull off an even slightly good whodunnit. Yet Kal, the new owner of the comic shop, is a pragmatic, determined and resourceful lady who just can’t seem to keep her nose out of police business. Thankfully, her interfering bears fruit and her ex-high school sweetheart, Det. Chris, is there for her to use as an unwilling - yet reluctantly grateful - sounding board.

This has potential to be
I was very excited to find a book series about a comic book owner. Unfortunately it sucked.

This book irritated me. The comic book aspect was pretty much non existent. The main character is a Mary Sue who knows everything. The secondary characters are little more than names on a page. The plot is just a complete mess. The police are useless. It was all tell not show but it failed even at that, because for all there was lots of telling, the main characters at the start are never really introduced.
It takes a lot of skill to craft a mystery this short, but this one works! Kalina takes over as owner of the local comic book shop when she returns to town from the job that required a business degree after her father died. But she has an eminently logical mind and quality research skills, so when her teenage nephew witnessed a dramatic death at the town fundraiser and she suspects foul play, she dives right in! A very good read made even better by narrator Barbara Nevins Taylor! Whispersync win ...more
joey brown
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent novella

An excellent start to a fun series. Sara Biglow has created a very likable hero. Her writing style is open and breezy. She makes it easy to imagine the world and people she's created to populate it. It's a pretty good mystery as well, although i did figure out who the murder was before the end, i still enjoyed the story. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
A clean cozy mystery suitable for younger readers and adults. Kalina and her nephew AJ both have curious minds. When presented with a mystery, or worse, unexplained death or murder, they need to stay involved until they have all the answers. Kalina is also in danger of angering her sister, AJ's mother. She reunites with an old boyfriend who has become a police detective and while they exchange information, she is careful not to get in his way.
Angie Hackett
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a mostly interesting plot. It was light and easy but I did feel it feel a tiny bit short, I guess that's why it's a novella. There were a few missing words which didn't help the flow but otherwise it flowed easily enough. The characters were solid but I do feel that they lacked a bit of depth, the plot also lacked a bit of depth. Otherwise this was an ok read.
Indie Wish List
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored this little cozy mystery! Sarah Biglow fit so much into this novella that the story didn’t feel rushed or short-changed. We got an interesting mystery full of intrigue and history, but also the re-introduction of an old flame. I really liked our heroine Kalina and her nephew, and I can’t wait to find out what happens between her and Christian.

5 Stars!
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I am having difficulty in my rating of this mystery, as I wanted to give a 3 and a half stars.
This was indeed a cozy mystery, a light and fun story. This is exactly the kind of book I would choose when I'm wanting a light hearted and fun kind of mystery. I bounce between the more hard core thrillers and take on a cozy mystery. Easy to read, I did enjoy this book.
Read on....
Ruth Morales
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great cozy mystery

I recall watching this scenario on Father Brown mysteries, not completely as this is but Justin's interesting.
The people are believable, the story shocking for their little town, and inviting in it's characters. The plot is a bit sad, and makes one think of ramifications of willingness to forget truth and justice.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute and Quick

I like cozy mysteries and this one was right up my alley. The main character is relatable and the story moves along at a nice pace. It didn't leave me hanging at the end but was written well enough that I'll be getting the second book.
Debra Valdez
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes, you just know

Kalina knew things weren't as they looked, no matter what the evidence showed. She was determined to prove it, with or without police consent. Had fun reading this.
Amber Frechette
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great short read

I love all things geeky so what's not to love about a comic store owner who moonlights as an amateur detective? This is a great short read with some shocking small town twists
Jane Leslie
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great, quick read.

I enjoyed this novella and, even though I guessed correctly about who the murderer was, I enjoyed the thrill of the chase by the protagonists. Chris has a few things to learn from Kalina!
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
History repeats

A murder in a small town opened up an old case that was settled with the wrong person going to prison. History can repeat and cause lots of problems. Fast paced to the end.
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Sarah is a USA Today Bestselling author as well as a licensed attorney and works for a state agency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When not working on her next novel or reading the latest installment of one of the many series she follows, she is busy watching TV and running a TV recap blog with her friend. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son.

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Other books in the series

A Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery (5 books)
  • Forgive and Forget (A Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery, #2)
  • Debts and Debtors (A Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery, #3)
  • Have and Hold (A Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery, #4)
  • Saints and Sinners (A Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery, #5)

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