Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club by Susan McBride

Publisher:  Harper Collins Witness Impulse
Published:   December 17. 2013
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Book format:  E-book
Obtained via:  Publisher - Edelweiss   
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Trust fund baby Andrea (Andie) Kendricks, has spent a lifetime trying to buck the country club set and her mother’s plans for her to take her place in society.  She hopes one of these days her mom, the Chanel and perfect pearl wearing Cissy, will accept the fact that she likes her job as a web designer for non-profits and about where her dating life is like with attorney boyfriend, Brian.  But when her mom asks for her help by going undercover she agrees…reluctantly.  Just because Andie has solved a few murders doesn’t mean she wants to be involved with helping Cissy find out who killed Bebe, one of her best friends.  But when Cissy moves on into the late Bebe’s retirement home determined to find the killer Andie just can’t let her go alone. 

Once inside it isn’t long before another of Cissy’s friends dies in a most mysterious fashion and now Andie is really on the case.  Once they’re on the inside Andie discovers that the owner of the exclusive retirement community is none other than an old camp friend.  While Andie never thought they were all that close the owner of Belle Meade still thinks the world of our heroine.  But once Andie starts digging into the crime the situation turns even uglier.  In fact, Cissy may be next on the killer’s list.

I totally enjoyed Susan McBride’s first two Debutant Dropout books, BLUE BLOOD and the GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER and couldn’t resist her LONE STAR LONELY HEARTS CLUB.  I was not disappointed.  I love Ms. McBride’s delivery.  She doesn’t take her characters from zero to sixty in book one but gives them time to develop and change in each new story.  She didn’t rush Andie and Brian into a relationship but has given the chance to grow and develop as characters in their own right, getting a little bit closer in each book.  Likewise with Andie’s relationship with her mother, Cissy.  As Andie herself says, it would be so easy just to cave and live the life her mother mapped out for her – but she wouldn’t be happy.  She tries to find a balance between their very divergent wishes and Ms. McBride does a great job tilting that balance one way and then the other in each book.

She has some well-done red herrings interspersed in the story and while I had a notion of who the killer was I was still a bit surprised when the killer was revealed. 

Each story is a standalone and there is enough back story to explain but not weigh down the current tale while you come up to speed on the characters.  If you are looking for a fun read, even if cozy mysteries aren’t quite your thing, McBride’s Debutant Mysteries are fun reads that could end up hooking you on the genre.  I’m ready to open up book 4 in this fun series.

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

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