Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Format: mass market paperback, 304 pages
Characters: Dae O'Donnell, Kevin Brickman,
Subject: solving current and age old murders
Setting: Duck North Carolina
Series: Missing Pieces Mysteries
Genre: amateur sleuth/police procedural mystery
Source: airport bookstore
I'd never read anything by this duo author, but I'm enchanted. I was waiting for a flight and finished my 'carry-on' book ahead of schedule, my MP3 needed to be charged, and I was faced with a 4 hour reading void, so I made a quick trip into the airport newstand, pulled the first one that looked interesting but not expensive. The gods were smiling. This is the first of a new series for this author, and I'm certainly going to be looking for the next one.
I love the setting. We have actually vacationed in Currituck, the town next to Duck- the setting of the book. The town and its quiet beachside atmosphere are wonderfully portrayed. I like the main character, Mayor Dae O'Donnell, the owner of "Missing Pieces" antique/junque store. Her grandfather is the retired police chief of the town who helps run the shop when Dae has to go off and be mayor. There is an eclectic assortment of loveable characters: a pair of old ladies (sisters) who are rather eccentric and apt to wonder off, see ghosts, and whom everyone in the town loves; several single women including the mayor, the owner of the hair salon, and the leader of the local "Save the Sea Turtles" group; the new owner of a derelict old Inn he has recently bought and is refurbishing who turns out to be a retired FBI agent; the current police chief and his assistant Tom (who keeps proposing to Dae); and several people from Duck's past who keep turning up (in various life forms) to keep things interesting.
When one of the old ladies is accused of murder, and tons of circumstantial evidence appears enough to convict her, Dae and Kevin (the retired FBI dude) set out to prove her innocence. The rest of the story is well-paced, believably written, and keeps the reader turning pages to see if Miss Mildred will in fact be rescued from spending her few remaining years incarcerated. It's a delightful cozy, with an amateur sleuth who respects and (for the most part) heeds the professionals responsible for the murder investigation.
There's just a hint of romance too....enough to pull the reader to look for the next book in the series to see what happens. Overall, a fun surprise and an engaging read.