Hello! I hope all of you are having a lovely Sunday. I am working on reviews today and then I have to run to the store. The cats are out of hard food again! It does not help that Doozy (my dog) just loves it. He polished off two bowls of it last night (such a piggy). I thought I would share the definition of a cozy mystery with you today. Cozies are a sub-genre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed (as well as blood and gore). Only the mildest of profanity is used in the books (if any at all). They are almost always set in small towns (where the people all seem to know each other), the main character is an amatuer sleuth (not always though), and there is a usually a thematic element (sewing, embroidery, knitting, antiques, scrapbooking, cooking, puzzles, etc.). Animals are usually featured in the books as well (cats and dogs).
The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala by Laura DiSilverio is the third book in A Book Club Mystery series. Amy-Faye Johnson is an event planner/organizer in Heaven, Colorado (what a lovely name for a town) and has arranged a Celebration of Gothic Novels for Gemma Frant who owns Book Bliss. There is a question and answer session with three gothic writers, an auction, a writing contest, and a costume party and dance. The Readaholics book club has read Rebecca in honor of the event. Constance Aldringham, Francesca Bugle, and Mary Stewart are the three gothic writers who agreed to come to Heaven for the events. At the question and answer session there is a man with a baseball cap. He is a stranger to the town. He stands out because most of the audience is women. He asks one question of the authors and then departs. Amy-Faye notices him again at the auction, but then her attention is diverted when there is a mix-up with an auction item. Someone added an item to the auction. The matter was quickly resolved, and the group moved on to the writing contest. When there is a little snafu at this event as well, Amy-Faye knows something is up. Someone is trying to make a point to one of the writers. They just have to get through the costume party and dance without another incident. Unfortunately, it is not to be. The man in the baseball cap turns up at the costume party. He is found in the manager’s office with a metal stake through his body. Who is this man and what did he do to get himself murdered? The weapon used belonged to Lola Paget. Everyone knows she did not commit the crime, but they have to prove it. Can Amy-Faye and the Readaholics find the culprit before it’s too late (most of the people are visitors to town for the gothic gala event and will soon take off for home)?
The Readaholics and The Gothic Gala was a good cozy mystery. I enjoyed reading this novel. The book is easy to read, has interesting characters, good writing, goes at a respectable pace, and a pleasant, small town setting. The mystery was complex and not easy to solve (which was just wonderful). The more difficult the mystery is to solve; the better I like them. I appreciated the Kinsey Millhone and Sleepy Hollow references in the book. I give The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala 4.5 out of 5 stars (I more than liked it, but I was able to solve the mystery). While this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel. The author brings the reader up-to-date on past happenings. Will I read the next book in A Book Club Mystery series? Definitely. I look forward to seeing what the group will investigate next (and quirky title name). There are references to gothic novels in The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala as well as a discussion on Rebecca by the book club.
The other novels in A Book Club Mystery series are The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco and The Readaholics and the Poiret Puzzle. I received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an honest evaluation. The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.
I sincerely hope all of you have a good Sunday evening. I will be back tomorrow (fair warning). I am currently reading An Accidental Gentleman by M.Q. Barber (very racy). This is not my normal type of book, but I thought I would check it out. I had better go get that food for the animals. I am getting a lot of meows and nudges. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader