Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong story, lots of fun
Cons: Flat supporting characters, one big aspect of the set up
The Bottom Line:
Fun overcomes weaknesses
Hard to put book down
In another case of too many books and too little time, I never made it very far into The Flower Shop Mysteries from Kate Collins. But I decided to jump into her new series, The Goddess of Greene St. Mysteries, from the very beginning. Overall, I enjoyed Statue of Limitations despite some flaws.
Athena Spencer has had to move back to live with her family in Michigan after her divorce. That means dealing with her large, crazy Greek family on a daily basis since she and her young son are living with them and she is working at the family’s garden center. It also means she is on hand when her grandparent’s Greek restaurant is threatened by the powerful Talbot family. They intend to raze an entire block of shops to put in condos. The fact that a murder takes place in their home, two weeks after another suspicious death, doesn’t seem to be slowing their plans down at all. The police are focusing their attention on a stranger in town, but Athena thinks they have the wrong suspect. Can she solve the murder and save her grandparent’s restaurant?
Follow all that? I didn’t even get into the statue that gives the book its title. Honestly, when I was first starting this book, I felt like this book might spin out of control with all the plot threads that Kate Collins was introducing, and in lesser hands it might have. However, all these threads just kept me engaged as I was reading. Honestly, I had a hard time putting the book down because something was always happening on one of the fronts.
Having said that, the book has some weaknesses. First, there’s the set up. I mentioned the stranger that Athena feels is innocent. Honestly, I had a very hard time believing her behavior toward that man. I mean, I believed he was innocent as well, but for someone as smart as Athena is supposed to be, she acts rather stupidly where he is concerned. That truly bothered me. I get why it happened (and there are a couple of different reasons), but it didn’t feel right.
The ending is a bit abrupt. It completely wrapped things up, and I was satisfied with how it did that, but it felt more forced than I would have preferred.
Then there are the characters. I felt like we got to know Athena and another couple very well. I loved them, and spending time with them was a delight. However, the rest of the cast aren’t that developed yet. I know, I know, this is the first book in a series. That’s what subsequent books are for. It’s just that her family, especially, is still very one dimensional. And maybe it’s because that one dimension is trying to meddle in Athena’s life in unwelcomed ways that I found them annoying. But they weren’t a major part of the book here, so it wasn’t a super big issue yet.
A couple of my issues were obvious early on, and I was thinking they would keep me from enjoying the book. I was wrong. Let me state it clearly – I enjoyed this book. I really did get caught up in the story and Athena was a wonderful main character. I was always trying to sneak in a few extra pages, and it worked because I flew through the book in just a couple of days instead of my average three days per book. I really wanted to know how things were going to end. And yes, I was looking to see if we had word yet on when the next book might be coming out.
Kate Collins’s many fans are going to be thrilled to see her back with Statue of Limitations. This is a fun debut that pulls you in to Athena’s world.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.