Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Book Review: Fashionably Late by Lisa Q. Mathews (Ladies Smythe and Westin #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Wacky characters in a good mystery
Cons: All cons showed up too late to be mentioned
The Bottom Line:
A model murder
Opens a wacky, fun case
Smiled as I read

I May Have Been Late Reading This Book, But I Enjoyed It

My intention was to get to Fashionably Late earlier in the year.  But books have a way of getting hidden on my to be read list, and unfortunately, this book went into hiding.  But when I remembered it, I bumped it up to the top so I could catch up with the latest adventure of the Ladies Smythe and Westin.

If you haven’t started this series yet, it features a pair of mismatched sleuths.  Summer Smythe is a twenty-something year old living in her late grandmother’s condo in a seniors only complex in Florida.  She has become good friends with another resident, Dorothy Westin.  Together, the two have found a couple of killers, and they are about to find themselves part of a third case.

It all starts with a fashion show.  It’s fashion week in Milano – Milano, Florida, that is, and Summer has snagged them tickets to the luncheon and fashion show that are kicking things off.  However, things take a strange turn when Angelica Downs, one of the models, asks them for help before the show starts.  When they try to track her down, they find her dead body.

Angelica’s mother, Frankie, is living in the part of their senior center for those with memory issues, and Dorothy and Summer are worried that Frankie might be next.  However, when they go to talk to Frankie, that only leaves them with more questions.  Is a killer after Frankie?  Who killed Angelica?  Can Dorothy and Summer figure out what is really going on?

Having read the previous two books in the series, I knew what to expect when I picked this book up, and I wasn’t disappointed.  The book starts out quickly, and the mayhem only spreads from there.  We might not be gathering clues right away, but there is plenty happening to keep our attention.  And all that activity does help us form a complete picture when Summer and Dorothy figure things out in the end.  The ending is a bit rushed, but it is fun and does answer all of our questions.

And the characters!  This series is filled with eccentric and slightly wacky characters.  Okay, fine, some of them are fully on wacky.  They certainly would be out of place in a more serious novel, but they fit perfectly here.  And they are a hoot.  These characters are so much fun to spend time around, they will have you grinning and laughing as you read.

There is a range on how wacky the characters are, with some being more grounded than others.  Dorothy is the most realistic character in the bunch, with Summer being fairly grounded but not quite as realistic.  That certainly helps pull us into the story and relate to what is happening.  They truly are both lead characters, with us spending equal time in both of their heads as things unfold.

The book is set in December, but, this being Florida, there isn’t a ton of Christmas atmosphere.  It does pop up occasionally and it adds a nice touch, but this isn’t a book to pick up when you want something to put you in the Christmas spirit.

But I definitely recommend you pick up Fashionably Late.  It is a fun book from the first page to the last.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.

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