Thursday, November 21, 2013

50% OFF MURDER by Josie Belle

Publisher:  Berkley
Date published:   April 3, 2012
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format: Electronic ARC
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Their eyes on the prize the Good Buy Girls, aka GBG, led by Maggie Gerber never met a sale they didn’t like. They share their coupons, plan out their shopping and show up before the doors are open. But they are more than just shopping and bargain buddies, they are also close friends and ready to help each other out without question. Maggie shares her home with her niece Sarah and her young son, Josh while Sarah’s husband is serving overseas.  While Sarah studies one morning Maggie takes Josh to the library’s story time. While Josh enjoys the story of the day Maggie hangs out with her friend and fellow GBG, librarian Claire. When Claire goes to show Maggie something in the basement they don’t quite get to the hidden treasure. Instead they find a body. A very dead body who happens to have Claire’s cake cutter buried in his chest.

At first Claire denies knowing the victim but once she is arrested a very disturbing history between Claire and the victim emerge. Making matters worse is that Maggie’s old high school flame, Sam Collins is not the town Sheriff and he’s pretty darn sure Claire is the killer. Despite her dislike for Sam, Maggie is determined to help her friend.  As she digs around into the victim’s background more and more links to the town pop up and at the same time throw Sam and Maggie together. Sam demands she stay out of his investigation—but Maggie isn’t about to abandon her friend.  Can she help Claire before the killer treats Maggie to a discounted murder of her own?

I had a good time reading Josie Belle’s 50% OFF MURDER, book 1 of her Good Buy Girls Mystery for more than just the witty one liners and well done mystery.  Interspersed in the story are some great bargain hunting tips as well as a list in the back of the book that lays getting a good deal from your shopping trip out in a nicely done list.

I enjoyed reading about a 40-something heroine who wasn’t ready for a retirement home and the group of friends were just fun to read. The venues I the story were fun to read as well and boy do I wish our local library had a “bridge across a moat” like St. Stanley’s! 

There wasn’t anything remarkable about the story.  The writing is pretty clean, the characters fun and the town has some great venues.  We don’t learn much about the victim until the last third of the book and then you can see why he was killed.  Claire had what she felt was a good reason for not sharing a horrific event from her past and it certainly did go a long way to showing she was guilty. 

Summer is one of those characters you just love to help. She’s quirky and one of the mean girls you hope is going to get hers. 

I think a lot of readers can relate to what prompted the murder and for that reason it was hard to feel bad for him. The killer basically did a favour to anyone the victim crossed if that makes sense.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement this book.

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