Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Review: Snuffed Out by Tim Myers (Candlemaking Mysteries #2)

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: The main character
Cons: Almost no plot
The Bottom Line:
Plot an after thought
Harrison is still great though
But needs a story

The Murder Seems Snuffed Out

Harrison Black's life was at loose ends when he inherited River's Edge, a strip mall of sorts, from his aunt. Now, not only does he have to manage the building, but he must keep her candle shop running. Fortunately, he has an assistant who can help him run At Wick's End. Life gets even more interesting with the occasional dose of murder. Snuffed Out is the second case Harrison has solved. While he is in top form, the plot really isn't.

When the power goes out at River's Edge, Harrison stumbles on a dead body. Looks like Aaron was electrocuted when water spilled on the chord of an electric potter's wheel he was using. The police are quick to rule it an accident, but Harrison isn't so sure. His suspicions mount when his other tenants keep telling him that Aaron hated electric potter's wheels. With the small police force being struck down by the flu, Harrison starts investigating. Meanwhile, his choice of a replacement tenant causes hard feelings and tensions to rise around the complex. Will Harrison be able to keep the peace, solve the murder, and run his shop?

When I read the first book in the series, I fell in love with Harrison's character. He's a late twenties man kinda floating through life who finally finds something to be passionate about with his inheritance. He's in top form here. Many of the other series regulars are fun characters as well, and spending time with them is enjoyable. Even the few grouches in the cast round things out and make things lively.

Fortunately the characters are interesting because the plot wasn't. We get more information on the day to day operations of River's Edge and At Wick's End then we do the actually murder. Every so often we get a clue or plot point, but then it is forgotten again for another chapter or two. The climax was so rushed I actually felt like it came out of no where. Furthermore, it left me with too many questions.

The writing in the book is decent enough. We aren't talking about anything outstanding, but there's nothing here that will trip you up, either. And it makes for a fast read, which is definitely a plus in this case. Mystery readers will find a couple fun references to other cozy mystery authors here, which adds a spark of fun. And there are a couple recipes and candle making tips at the end.

Ultimate, this book is the weak link in the series. Snuffed Out is recommended only for those who have to read a mystery about candle making or fans of the author.

And if you enjoy this book, here are the rest of the Candlemaking Mysteries in order.

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