Gail C.'s Reviews > Can't Judge a Book By Its Murder

Can't Judge a Book By Its Murder by Amy Lillard
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This is an entertaining book that is just as much about introducing the inhabitants of Sugar Springs, Mississippi. It’s time for the annual high school reunion which encompasses all class years since the school and town are so small. This year is particularly exciting since one of the graduates who has achieved fame and fortune as a writer is coming back to town for a book signing at Arlo and Chloe’s shop, Books and More. Arlo owns the books portion and Chloe provides specialty teas and coffees which make up the “more”.
Unfortunately, before the book signing can take place a man plunges from the third floor above Arlo’s shop onto the pavement below and is pronounced dead. The victim turns out to be none other than the famous author who was Chloe’s boyfriend until he fathered her child. He decided he wanted nothing to do with the child, signed away his rights and moved to NY. Now he’s come back and wants to meet his son and be involved in his life; a decision Chloe is vehemently against.
It comes as no surprise when Chloe is arrested for the murder and Arlo springs into action to free her best friend. She knows Chloe isn’t capable of murder, and although the sheriff agrees with her, he insists he must follow the evidence so Chloe is put in jail. Because Sugar Springs is a tiny town and everyone knows everyone, of course there is history between people everywhere. Arlo and the sheriff used to be an item before she broke his heart. She convinces the sheriff o keep Chloe in the local jail. The catch? Arlo has to provide three meals a day.
Enter the three senior citizens who have formed a book club at Arlo’s and have been essential to Arlo’s formative years. They all agree to provide food for Chloe, each taking a turn, and at the same time join forces with Arlo to free Chloe. They quickly realize that can only be accomplished if they discover the real killer, and so the investigation begins.
The investigation is joined by another high school graduate who stole Arlo out from under the sheriff’s nose back on prom night when they were all in school and then promptly broke her heart. He’s back in town and decides to rent the office above Arlo’s place, explaining he is now a private detective.
There is humor woven in and out of the story, and some good character development. While it is a cozy mystery, the solving of the murder seems to be secondary to establishing the relationship of Arlo, Chloe and a group of secondary characters. The solution to the murder was easy, although Arlo solves it more as a result of some chance statements rather than any real investigative work. It reads more like a novel that is trying to introduce a new series to cozy readers.
An enjoyable, light read, this might be good for cozy readers who are looking for a new series. My thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for providing me with an Advanced Digital Read copy in exchange for an unbiased
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Reading Progress

October 5, 2019 – Started Reading
October 5, 2019 – Shelved
October 5, 2019 –
October 8, 2019 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy Enjoyed your review Carolyn!

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