Thursday, January 5, 2017

Towhee Get Your Gun: A Bird Lover's Mystery

I hope everyone had a lovely Thursday.  I spent the day paying bills online and doing housework (as much fun as going to the dentist). If you have not yet read A Beeline to Murder by Meera Lester, this is the time to pick it up.  It is currently $.99 on (always double check the price before purchasing).  

Towhee Get Your Gun by J.R. Ripley is the second book in A Bird Lover’s Mystery series.  Amy Simms is the owner of Birds and Bees in Ruby Lake, North Carolina.  After having a frustrating discussion with Paul Anderson about his camper (which is parked in front of Amy’s store), Amy’s cousin Riley enters the shop.  The Theater on the Square (TOTS) is putting on a production of Annie Get Your Gun, but they have been having some difficulties (people injured, thefts of small items, a small fire).  He has just come from the theater where the stage curtain rod gave way and injured two of the actors.  Riley wishes to recruit Amy to play Winnie (keep in mind that Amy cannot sing and it is a musical).  Ava Turner, a movie star who lives locally, has agreed to star as Annie (she played the role on Broadway when she was younger).  A few days later, Amy is at TOTS for a rehearsal.  Amy is on stage with Riley when they hear a shot ring out.  Amy runs towards the back of the theater to find Lou Ferris, the theater manager, trying to get into Ava’s dressing room.  After getting the door unlocked, they find Patsy Klein, Jill-of-all trades, dead in Ava Turner’s dressing room.  There is no one else in the room and there is a prop gun on the floor.  It looks like Patsy committed suicide, but, as we all know, looks can be deceiving.  The police discover that Patsy was stabbed to death and Rhonda, Amy’s cousin and Riley’s fraternal twin, ends up being the prime suspect.  Amy sets out to find the real culprit and clear Rhonda’s name.  In between sleuthing, Amy must deal with her shop, her nosy and annoying second-floor tenant, her new disrupting neighbor, her plans for Seeds for Seniors program, and the town trying to take over her land under eminent domain.  Amy cannot say that life is dull in Ruby Lake.  Will Amy be able to find the real culprit and rescue her cousin, Rhonda from the hoosegow? 

Towhee Get Your Gun is easy to read and has a good pace.  I thought that the author included some good information on towhee’s and rehabilitating injured birds. While Towhee Get Your Gun is the second book in the series, you can read it as a stand-alone (the author gives the reader all the needed background on the characters and what happened in the first novel). I personally thought that there was too much going on in Towhee Get Your Gun.  We have the murder, Amy’s new neighbor, return of Amy’s old boyfriend, a towhee left on the store’s front porch, the Seeds for Seniors project, Amy’s annoying second-floor tenant (I would find a way to toss that woman out of on her posterior), meddling friend, Kate (the meddling friend) and Randy flipping a house, Barbara (Amy’s mother) illness and meddling, and the possibility of romance for Amy with Derek (despite warnings from Derek’s ex-wife).  I am sure that I left something out of that list.  I found Amy a hard character to like.  She runs around town probing the murder (while her mother and friend try to ruin her life and shop) while alienating the citizens of Ruby Lake with her questioning (which comes out accusatory).  I can see why many of the townspeople are not fond of Amy (and she needs them on her side in order to save her home and shop).  You know you do not like a character when you keep hoping the killer will bump her off next.  Amy also over indulges in food and then laments about her appearance (more than once).  I give Towhee Get Your Gun 3 out of 5 stars (okay, but not for me).  I thought the mystery was too simple.  I could identify the killer before anyone had been murdered (one little detail gave away the perpetrator’s identity).  I believe that many readers will be able to figure out all the parts of the puzzle long before the reveal.  Towhee Get Your Gun is the type of cozy mystery for readers that like zany and over-the-top antics (and humor).  The next book in A Bird Lover's Mystery series is The Woodpecker Always Pecks Twice (and then To Kill a Hummingbird). Die, Die Birdie is the first book in the series and is $.99 on Amazon (the sale can end at any time).

I appreciate your visit to read my latest book evaluation.  I am off to watch my shows.  Nashville returns tonight!  I am so glad that CMT picked up this show.  I am currently reading Exposed in Darkness by Heather Sunseri.  I will be back tomorrow to review Modern Crimes by Chris Nickson.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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