Mission to Murder is the second book in the new Tourist trap Mystery cozy written by Lynn Cahoon. I’ve read the book back in June while away visiting my parents, and it turned out to be the perfect holiday read. Relatively short, easy to read, funny and with a lovely set of characters that you can’t get enough of.
Jill Gardner is a recent transplant in South Cove, where she opened a book store called Coffee, Books and More. In the first book Jill discovered a stonewall on her property pointing to what she thinks is an old Spanish mission that was there many years ago, which caused her quite a bit of trouble. Trouble that follows her in the second novel as well.
I knew that this particular piece of history will feature prominently in the second book, since we were left hanging at the end of the first book with the situation unresolved. Now Craig Morgan, the manager of the Castle, challenges Jill on the importance of the wall every step of the way, during every meeting they have.
The problems start when Craig is found dead and Jill is the obvious suspect – afterall everyone knows about their ongoing fights and bickering about that wall.
The only thing that helps Jill is her friendship with Greg, the local detective, who is automatically put in the case (afteral the small town of South Cove only has 3 police officers, it shouldn’t need more – although the latest series of murders might prove it otherwise).
Of course Greg knows Jill is innocent and he begs her to let him solve the case. Now proving it is another story, and Jill can’t sit and wait until justice will be done. She is an ex-lawyer who knows that sometimes finding out the truth means getting your own hands dirty.
The rest of the story follows Jill and her friends either working through the case or having their own problems to deal with. We meet again her best friend Any who also played a big part in the first book, Esmeralda the local medium and fortune teller, Jackie – Jill’s aunt who is still with Jill helping her run the book store – or more likely run it herself, and a few other characters who are making the small town be the charming one that is.
As the book is a cozy, there is not a lot of thrilling action going on. In fact after reading the book I was left feeling that the suspense was even less than in the first book of the series. However I got sucked into the whole world without realizing. I was there, watching the drama unfold almost with real eyes. I also enjoyed the various subplots that the author developed, which made the characters life size 3D. There were plenty of red herrings thrown into the mix to keep me motivated to try to solve the case along with Jill.
Overall Mission to Murder was a great read. I have to admit I enjoyed Guidebook to Murder more and I’m hoping that in the third book to be published shortly, the pace picks up a bit more again.