Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: The main character
Cons: Almost no plot
The Bottom Line:
Plot an after thought
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
has solved. While he is in top form, the plot really isn't.
When the power goes out at River's Edge,
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
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.