Sunday, February 24, 2013

Book Review: The Trouble with Tulip by Mindy Starns Clark (Smart Chick Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters who already seem like old friends and a good plot.
Cons: Mystery takes a bit of a back seat in the beginning.
The Bottom Line:
Mystery starts slow
But overall book still strong
Start of great series

Here's a Tip - Read This Book

The Trouble with Tulip is the first book in Mindy Starns Clark's new series, the Smart Chick Mysteries. This series stars Jo Tulip, author of the "Tips from Tulip" household hints newspaper column and her best friend, photographer Danny Watkins.

The last thing Jo needs that Saturday morning is a trip to a crime scene. After all, it's her wedding day. But Danny, called to the scene to take evidence photos, thinks she can shed some light on the weird things being found around the house. Sure enough, the odd items are tips from Jo's "Tips from Tulip" household hints column. The victim, Edna Pratt, was a huge fan of the column and used the hints all the time. But when the chief concludes that Edna's death was an accident, Jo disagrees. Edna would have known better then to accidentally mix lethal chemicals together. With some personal issues she'd like a distraction from, Jo drags Danny into the investigation. Can they figure out what really happened?

Being a fan of Mindy Starns Clark's Million Dollar Mysteries, I was looking forward to this debut. I was not disappointed. Jo and Danny are great new characters, and Ms. Clark makes them likeable right from the start. The murder plot is a little slow in the first half of the book as things in the character's personal lives take center stage. Even so, the writing and characters drew me into the book and I couldn't put it down wanting to know what would happen next. Once the mystery takes over, it really gets interesting and exciting. The spiritual topic of surrendering to God when life doesn't go the way we expected made me stop and think myself, and I'm hoping they are central themes in this series.

The Trouble with Tulip proved to be a great start to a great series.  Get hooked today.

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