Thursday, September 3, 2020

Book Review: Ditched 4 Murder by J. C. Eaton (Sophie Kimball #2)

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Laughs and good characters
Cons: Weak mystery, some annoying characters
The Bottom Line:
Aunt getting married
Complicating Phee’s new life
Not as good as first

Weddings and Killers

Earlier this year, I finally started the Sophie Kimball series, and I completely enjoyed that debut.  I was anxious to visit her again in Ditched 4 Murder.  Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first one.

Sophie Kimball, Phee to her friends, has moved down to Arizona, and she’s just in time.  While juggling her job keeping the books for a PI, she keeps getting roped into helping plan her aunt Ina’s upcoming wedding.  Throw in her mother and her mother’s opinion on the wedding, and Phee is going crazy.

And that’s not even factoring in the murder.  Someone was killed at the golf course not too far from where Phee’s mother lives.  Phee’s boss is working the case as a consultant for the cops, but he doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere.  But when the case begins to intersect with the wedding, Phee can’t help but get involved.  Will she solve it?

The first book combined humor with a fantastic puzzle that kept me guessing.  The two elements were juggled perfectly for a book I couldn’t put down.  Sadly, this book didn’t maintain that balance.  Don’t get me wrong, there were still plenty of funny moments.  However, the wedding overshadowed the mystery.  Oh, I knew that eventually we’d begin to see the connections between the two, but it took too long for my taste for us to get there.  Add in a bit of a weak climax from a plotting standpoint.  Don’t get me wrong, all our questions were answered, which is always important.

Much of the humor in the first book came from Phee’s mother and her friends.  In the first book, they walked a fine line between the characters being annoying and being funny.  Here’s I felt they were more annoying.  It probably didn’t help that Aunt Ina tips the scales toward annoying as well.

Fortunately, there are several good characters in the book that kept me engaged.  Phee herself is strong and sympathetic.  Her co-workers are also fantastic, level headed characters, and I hope to get to know them better in future books.

And I certainly did laugh at some of the events in the book.  There are many great scenes here from a humor standpoint, including the climax.

Yes, I definitely planning to be back to visit Phee again.  Ditched 4 Murder wasn’t as good as the debut, but I suspect I will enjoy her future adventures.

Looking or more?  Here are the rest of the Sophie Kimball Mysteries.

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