Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Book Review: The Brim Reaper by Diane Vallere (Samantha Kidd #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Samantha, mystery, humor
Cons: A little editing would help
The Bottom Line:
Samantha finds death
At museum exhibit
In fun mystery

Book Brimming with Clues and Fun

I really don’t follow fashions at all.  What can I say, I’m a guy.  Fortunately, I stumbled into Diane Vallere’s mysteries anyway, which brought me to Samantha Kidd.  While the setting for these mysteries might be the fashion industry, they are still fun mysteries all can enjoy, as The Brim Reaper proves once again.

Perpetually unemployed Samantha Kidd has agreed to help her friend Eddie with a fashion exhibit at the local museum.  The temporary exhibit is going to feature vintage Hollywood costumes.  However, when the shipments of hats at the center of the exhibit arrive, the boxes are empty.  Then Samantha and Eddie find a dead body in the museum.

After calling the police, Samantha fully intends to walk away from the case and focus on a job she’s taken working for her boyfriend, Nick, as he launches his own shoe design studio.  However, Eddie still needs Samantha’s help, especially when he begins to look like the prime suspect.  As her attention continues to be divided, will she be able to balance her new job and her relationship with finding a killer?

Quite obviously, there is a lot going on here, and it makes for an engaging mystery.  There are multiple suspects, red herrings, twists, and complications to keep the pages flying.  The ending ties everything together and wraps it up in a hat box for us.

I do wish the book were a little smoother.  It’s a minor timeline issue here, an awkward sentence there, things like that.  The issues are truly minor overall, but they are annoying.  Once more over to smooth a few of those things out would have made this a stronger book overall.

Speaking of strong, the characters are wonderful.  Samantha has a few good friends in her life, and all of these returning characters are outstanding.  I enjoy spending time with them, and I’m growing to care for them more with each book I read.  The museum staff, aka the suspects, prove to be interesting as well.  They don’t have as much page time as the regulars, but they still are developed enough for us to keep them straight and engaged in the mystery. 

And there’s the humor.  This isn’t a laugh a page book, but there are some very funny moments and clever turns of phrase along the way that made me smile or laugh.

The Brim Reaper is another fashionable read.  If you are looking for a diverting mystery, you’ll be glad you picked up this series.

You’ll also want to read the rest of the Samantha Kidd Mysteries.

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