A bike shop owner and her book club pals keep solving mysteries in ways that somehow don’t endear them to the police (Murder on Cape Cod, 2018, etc.).
Mackenzie Almeida, the proprietor of Mac’s Bikes in the touristy Cape Cod town of Westham, is dating Tim Brunelle, the caring and handsome owner of an artisanal bakery, who wants to get married and start a family. That’s not something independent neat freak Mac is ready to do. She enjoys living in her tiny house with Belle, her talkative parrot, for company. When Mac and her best friend, Gin, come across the dead body of wealthy Beverly Ruchart outside Gin’s taffy shop, Mac’s romantic problems get put on the back burner, especially since Gin is a suspect. She and her date, Eli Tubin, the widower of Beverly’s daughter, had attended a party at Beverly’s home only the night before. Beverly seems to have died from a heart attack, but an autopsy finds that she was poisoned with antifreeze, some of which has been planted in Gin’s garage. Of course Mac and her cohorts at the book club can’t resist a little sleuthing. They uncover several other plausible suspects: Beverly’s ne’er-do-well grandson, Ron, his Russian girlfriend, and his long-absent father, who has a police record. Although Beverly could be generous, she had a sharp tongue that made her plenty of enemies. Her interest in genealogy and reuniting long-lost parents and children endeared her to Wesley Farnham, for whom she found a son, but not so much to Farnham’s daughter, who misses being an only child. Although Mac turns her findings over to the police, she still attracts the killer’s notice and ends up owing her life to Belle.
The romantic doings of the likable characters are more interesting than the mediocre mystery.