Happy Sunday! It is very windy in my area today. The one benefit is the wind gets all the dead branches out of the trees for me (I just have to pick them all up off the ground). As I get older, I can see the appeal of living in a condo (no yard work or home repairs).
A Fatal Romance by June Shaw is the first book in A Twin Sisters Mystery series. Sunny Taylor and Eve Vaughn are identical twins with very different personalities. The two of them joined together to open Twin Sister Remodeling and Repairs in Sugar Ledge, Louisiana. Eve and Sunny are attending the funeral of Zane Snelling, a client. They did a patio and pond for the Snellings. Zane had tripped on his patio and ended up drowning in his pond. The widow enters the church with the urn, trips, the lid pops off and ashes fly out. Some ashes end up on Sunny and in her jacket pocket (which causes to her laugh in nervousness). Sunny offers to fetch a sweeper and Daria Snelling gets upset. Sunny starts belting out a Christmas carol (she does this when uncomfortable, nervous, or thinking about relations with men). Daria orders the twins to leave the church. Sunny later discovers that some ashes are in her jacket pocket. She calls and leaves a message for Daria stating she has something that belonged to Zane and leaves her phone number. Later that day Eve returns to her home to find it ransacked. Someone destroyed her paintings (I am using the word loosely) and left a message on the wall. What were the intruders looking for? When Daria does not return Sunny’s call, the twins go over to her home. They find Daria dead in her kitchen. Detective Wilet is assigned the case and his investigation leads him to Sunny (of course). When clients start canceling their jobs, Sunny sets out to find the real killer. But this murderer will go to great lengths to avoid capture including killing anyone in his way!
A Fatal Romance is an interesting concept for a new cozy mystery series. I do not believe there is another series with a set of twins. I found the pace of the novel to be on the slow side, and I was not fond of the characters. I found Sunny to be neurotic. She also has self-esteem issues (appearance and intelligence), and is jealous of her sister. She is also overprotective of Eve and smothers her (I understand why, but it was still unpleasant). Sunny worried about Eve over the course of the investigation. She would drive down her street, call her, and enter her home to check on her (many, many times). If I was Eve, I would change the locks of my home (or move away and leave no forwarding address). I believe Sunny’s singing of Christmas songs is supposed to be humorous, but I found it annoying (my mother thought it was funny, but she did not have to read the whole book). Eve is egocentric and intent on finding the love of her life (she has three ex-husbands from whom she still receives expensive gifts). I think the author was going for quirky, but she missed the mark with these characters. The characters lacked depth and realism. I give A Fatal Romance 2 out of 5 stars (not a fan). Sunny going on about Zane’s ashes was not amusing. She kept going on about the “flakes” in her jacket pocket and I thought she was going to lose it when she found some in the church. The mystery was uncomplicated (once it got started). I could identify the culprit long before the reveal (very small suspect pool). A Fatal Romance is just not my type of cozy mystery (I am told it might be because I lack a sense of humor--Nah!). A Fatal Romance will be out on Tuesday, February 24.
If you enjoy my blog, please consider joining (at right). I hope you have a great Sunday evening. I will be enjoying The Librarians season finale and Victoria (on PBS) while reading The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader