My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As per usual with Mystery Guild book club the first book they offer is book three in the series *eye rolls* so I was missing a few things but nothing I couldn't catch up on. Charlie is a librarian and is living in a huge house left to him by his aunt. So large in fact his son, Sean the lawyer, appears to be living there and two other boarders and yet no one is in each other's faces, not even when Charlie's daught, Laura, comes to stay unexpectedly. She's taking a 1 semester job teaching acting at the college and she's taking a break from her Hollywood acting career (not sure this is a wise move but it's never really discussed so...).
To her father's surprise and chagrin, she was dating an obnoxious playwrite, Lawton, who got her the job in hopes of getting her back with him. Laura says she's only interested in being friends but some like Damitra Vane, don't believe her. Damitra is full on stalker. In spite of his nasty personality Lawton is an excellent playwrite and has more female admirers than is good for him, including a few married women.
Unsurprisingly Lawton is killed, Laura is a suspect and her father has to find the real killer. While it was a quick read and entertaining, I'm not sure you could have solved it ahead of time the way the clues were doled out and frankly there weren't that many suspects. Charlie and the cold deputy Berry solve it at the same time. I have to agree that hearing how scary Berry is got old fast.
Diesel, his thirty pound Maine Coon is adorable and I didn't have the problem with him vocalizing a lot as if part of the conversation. The breed does that. I was more put out by him going everywhere with Charlie, like the bakery. I love cats but I'm also hyper aware of allergies and there's a certain selfishness bringing your cat/dog everywhere with a blind eye to how it robs some people of their ability to breathe (this obviously doesn't apply to service animals). And he never worries about dogs when he's walking Diesel. I had a cat that I used to walk on a leash but only in certain areas because I was afraid someone walking a cat-unfriendly dog would cross our paths.
Someone else in a review said there wasn't much description of the town. I agree. That part was very two dimensional. I was annoyed at how overprotective Charlie and Sean are of Laura, like she can't be alone for a second. While I'd probably read another one, it would probably come from the library. It was fun but I don't see me adding it to my permanent collection.
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