Monday, March 20, 2017

Fixin' to Die: A Kenni Lowry Mystery

Greetings!  Tomorrow a new batch of novels will be released.  Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister, The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman, If Not for You by Debbie Macomber, A Knightbridge Scandal by Anita Davison, and Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet are a few of the releases.  I will be reviewing all of them over the next week.

Fixin’ to Die by Tonya Kappes is the first book in A Kenni Lowry Mystery series.  Kendrick “Kenni” Lowry is the sheriff in Cottonwood, Kentucky.  Kenni was elected two years ago, after the passing of her Poppa, Elmer Sims, who was the previous sheriff.  Kenni has been lucky that there has been no crime in Cottonwood since she took office (which is extremely odd even for a small town).  But Kenni’s luck has run out.  She is called out early to Dr. Ronald Walton’s house (where he also had his office).  Dr. Walton was found dead in his home by his receptionist, Toots Buford (only in the South would you find someone with the name of Toots).  There is a strange symbol on the doctor’s wrist.  Later that day White’s Jewelry store is robbed and the same symbol is on the wall.  The two crimes seem to be connected.  Kenni goes the grave of her Poppa (her grandfather) and asks for his help since the townspeople are in an uproar.  After that, Kenni starts hearing her Poppa’s voice (she thinks it is in her head).  Then she actually sees him.  At first Kenni believes she is losing her mind, but Poppa soon convinces her that he is real.  Poppa is there to help her.  Kenni also gets help from the Kentucky State Reserve in the form of Finn Vincent.  He is originally from Chicago (so he does not understand the ways of the South-yet).  Finn is assigned to help her solve the two crimes.  This is especially helpful since Kenni’s deputy just retired, and her only other help is the county jailer, Wyatt Granger.  Kenni, Finn, and Poppa set out to find the culprit behind the robbery and murder.  Will they be able to find the culprit before he commits another crime?

Fixin’ to Die is easy to read, has a good flow, and I like the paranormal element.  Kenni Lowry is an acquired taste.  Her behavior is a wee bit over-the-top (especially in the first half of the story).  Kenni goes around town doing her investigation and accusing the wrong people (angering the citizens and losing their cooperation).  Kenni does not read the reports provided to her, question witnesses, or follow-up on forensic evidence (to make sure it arrived and was processed).  Kenni does not actually solve the crime as stumble upon the killer accidentally (technically, it is a win).  Kenni is not used to crime, and this is an adjustment period for her (and the town’s citizens).  I enjoyed Poppa.  I found him to be funny and entertaining.  I hope the author will enhance his role in future novels in the series.  I give Fixin’ to Die 3.5 out of 5 stars.  Ms. Kappes did include a romantic element in the story.  There is an attraction between Kenni and Finn (she certainly likes to ogle his physique).  It will be interesting to see how it progresses.  The author did include some outlandish characters like the philandering town mayor and the spoiled, pampered daughter of well-to-do parents.  The cozy element is very prevalent in Fixin’ to Die.  Kenni has a busy social life, likes to jog, has a dog, and enjoys a good card game.  The mystery was good, but I found it easy to solve (I wish the crime had been more complicated).  I could identify the killer before I reached a hundred pages.  I appreciated the paranormal element in the form of Poppa’s ghost.   It greatly enhanced Fixin’ to Die.  Overall, Fixin’ to Die is a good first start to a series.  With a little tweaking this could be an entertaining paranormal mystery series.  I will be reading Southern Fried the next book in A Kenni Lowry Mystery series which will be released on April 4 (and the Kindle version is only $2.99 on pre-order).  Henery Press is currently hosting a giveaway on Goodreads for a copy of Southern Fried.

I appreciate you visiting.  I am off to coax my mother to leave the house on an errand.  I was unsuccessful last week.  I am currently reading Shipyard Girls at War by Nancy Revell.  I will return tomorrow when I review Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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