Hello! The Plot is Murder by V.M. Burns will be published on November 28. It is the first book in A Mystery Bookshop Mystery series (that's a mouthful).
A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes is the first book in A Keepsake Cove Mystery series. Callie Reed is visiting her Aunt Melodie in Keepsake Cove, Maryland. Melodie owns House of Melody, a music box shop and lives in an adorable red cottage behind the shop. The next morning, Callie goes looking for Melodie and finds her dead in the shop. The police rule it an accidental death, but Callie is not so sure. After the funeral, Callie discovers that she inherited the shop and cottage. It is the perfect time for a change, and Callie embraces her new life. When Callie goes through her aunt’s belongings, she finds a second disposable cell phone. Why did Melodie need a second phone? Then someone tries to break into the shop. What are they after and why is Grandpa Reed’s music box playing on its own? Questions are piling up and Callie wants answers.
A Fatal Collection is nicely written, great main character, and it had a nice pace. I enjoyed the descriptions of the various collectible shops in Keepsake Cove (unique town). Mary Ellen Hughes created some good characters in a quaint tourist town. I wish, though, that she had developed the main character a little more. We are not given enough background on Callie. I am hopeful the author will rectify it in the next book. Readers are introduced to many of the shop owners. I did tire of the numerous clothing descriptions of Callie’s part-time employee (she has an unusual clothing style). The investigation is minimal and the killer easily identified. I wish Ms. Hughes had made the mystery more enticing. I felt the flirting and romance between Callie and Brian Greer inappropriate since Callie has just left her husband (I could have done with less of him too). I did enjoy the paranormal element and I hope there will be more of it in future books in A Keepsake Cover Mystery series (with a better explanation). A Fatal Collection is a cute start to the series. With a few tweaks, it could be a delightful cozy mystery series.
I appreciate you visiting today. I will be back tomorrow with another book evaluation. Take care, have a thankful day and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader