Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Book Review: Just Killing Time by Julianne Holmes (Clock Shop Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Well developed and real characters, plenty of conflict
Cons: Mystery a little weak
The Bottom Line:
New series debut
Characters already friends
You’ll get lost in book

Make the Time for This Debut

For the last year and a half, I’ve been a daily reader over at the Wicked Cozy Authors blog, and I’ve read all of their books and enjoyed them.  I’ve been counting down the days until I could read Just Killing Time, the debut from Julianne Holmes, the final author in the group.  That day has finally arrived, and I’m glad to say it is a fun read.

Ruth Clagan is shocked when she learns her grandfather has died.  While she was very close to him growing up, they had been estranged after her grandmother died and he had remarried.  She has inherited the family business, the Cog & Sprocket clock shop, from him, so she heads to the town of Orchard, Massachusetts, to reconnect with this part of her past.

She has not been in town long when she learns there is more to Grandpa Thom’s death than she initially thought.  While he died of a heart attack, there are signs that foul play might have been involved.  To Ruth’s surprise, he’d gotten involved in local politics and an effort to save town hall and the downtown area.  And there was a robbery at the clock shop not long before Thom died.  Did Thom interrupt another burglar?  Or was there another reason someone attacked him?

I knew from the first page I would love Ruth, and I was right.  She is a very fun main character who is rediscovering a part of her life that she’d left behind.  Over the course of the book, she reconnects with friends from the years she spent in Orchard as a child and makes some new ones.  I loved them just as much as I did Ruth.  I can’t wait to spend more time with them.

The plot includes quite a bit more about Ruth reconnecting with the clock shop and her life in Orchard than I would have normally liked, however, since I loved the characters, I enjoyed it.  And don’t misunderstand, there is plenty of conflict and a good mystery.  In fact, I can see threads of future mysteries or at least sub-plots in this book.  I’m definitely left wondering how things are going to progress as the series goes forward, and I can’t wait see just what develops.  As for this book, the mystery presented here is wrapped up with a logical solution at the end.

Because the victim was Ruth’s grandfather, this book took on a more somber tone than some of the books I read.  After all, Ruth needs to grieve for a man who was very dear to her for years.  I actually loved how that element was handled since it developed Ruth and several others over the course of the book.  As others talked about Thom, I got a great picture of the man, and honestly I wish we’d gotten to see him on the page.  This gave the book more depth than many I read, and I loved the book for it.

Just Killing Time is a polished debut that will leave you turning pages as you spend time with these delightful characters.  I’m already counting the seconds until I can revisit Ruth and the town of Orchard.

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, October 13th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 10/13.


  1. Glad this book is strong - I'm very interested in reading it!

  2. What a good review and thanks for the link to the Wicked Cozy Authors page. I am looking forward to getting to know Ruth too and can't wait to read this! Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing and the chance to win a copy!

  4. Great interview....love to read the book....

    Kathleen Bylsma h5apby@yahoo.com

  5. This sounds like a really great new series. I always enjoy reading your reviews.
    Suzanne Popplewell smpopple@hotmail.com

  6. This sounds like a great start to a new series. Your review really brought it into focus. Thanks for the chance to win. doward1952@yahoo.com

  7. sounds great, stoeser1@pie.midco.net

  8. Always looking for a new-to-me author to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  9. Sounds like a great debut I would love to read! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  10. Looks like a good start to a new series. Thanks for the review

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net