A Poisonous Page
A Poisonous Page by Kitt Crowe is the second novel in A Sweet Fiction Bookshop Mysteries. It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series. In Confection, Oregon two chamber of commerce members are killed. When one of Lexi’s frenemies is accused of the crime, Lexi and the Macaroons (the book club at the bookstore Lexi manages for her parents) set out to discover the identity of the killer. There are quite a few characters to keep track of in this series. It can be hard to keep everyone straight especially those who are friends and those who are not (nasty neighbors, frenemies, and adversaries). I love Lexi’s dog, Cookie. She is indeed a smart cookie. It seems like she understands what people are saying.
I am not a fan of Detective Chad Berg who feels the need to constantly issue tickets, fines, and warning to Lexi (it’s like he needs to prove he follows the letter of the law). I do not understand why there is a budding romance between these two characters (I would want to stay as far away from Chad as I could—or, since it is a cozy mystery series, hope that he will be the next victim). The death of the two chamber of commerce members is straightforward. I identified the killer long before the second body turned up. Lexi and her book group were hoping the first death was a murder so they could investigate since they enjoyed solving the last murder. Lexi and her friends speculate on which person they know could have done the deeds. They are a direct bunch. I would have liked more investigating (little sleuthing by Lexi). I found the dialogue to be off and there is a lot of repetition. I would have preferred less romance and a more complex mystery. I did not like the scene where women were slapping each other. I felt that many of the characters were not realistic (nor is their dialogue) and more than a few are unlikeable. While I liked Cookie, she does dominate the book (a scene stealer). Lexi walks the dog, talks to the dog, feeds the dog, etc. I wanted to give this series a second chance (which I did), but I learned that it is not for me. A Poisonous Page is a lighthearted whodunit with a clever Cookie, fun festivals, a busy bar, a deceased chamber of commerce member, a ticket happy detective, the meddling Macaroons, and a sleuthing Lexi.
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