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by Maddie Day

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 2023
ISBN: 9781496740557
Publisher: Kensington

An officious chamber of commerce director meets an untimely end.

Although Wagner Lavoie has plenty of thoughts about how to promote small business in his hometown of Westham, Massachusetts, some of them seem pretty out there. Is it really a good idea to plan a spring festival in March, when the ground in Cape Cod is barely thawed? Or to cajole local merchants to offer freebies when there’s no guarantee of any financial gain? Mackenzie Almeida, owner of Mac’s Bikes, isn’t the only storekeeper to bridle at Lavoie’s demands. But one of the others must have been more than just ticked off by the prospect of having to offer free curried chicken soup samples to a mob of potential customers, because at the end of the surprisingly successful festival, the director is found squashed like a bug under a bookcase that’s toppled over inside the Book Nook. There’s no earthly reason for Mac to get involved in investigating Lavoie’s murder. Police chief Victoria Laitinen certainly hasn’t asked for her help. None of Mac’s nearest and dearest are under suspicion. As charming as Mac and her eccentric circle of friends may be, her author offers scant motivation for her heroine’s quest and even less real mystification standing in the way of its resolution. No tantalizing clues, no crafty red herrings, and precious little detection here.

Is the best surprise really no surprise? Not for mystery fans.