Thursday, December 29, 2022

A Streetcar Named Murder by T.G. Herren

 Book Summary
Book Summary

Blackmail in the Big Easy turns to cold-blooded murder in this debut cozy mystery perfect for fans of Jane K. Cleland.

When the mysterious letter arrives by courier, Valerie Cooper doesn’t know what to make of it. She’s become the beneficiary of her late husband’s estranged uncle’s will—a man she never knew—and inherited a majority partnership in the family’s company, New Orleans Fine Antiques. Valerie knows nothing about antiques, but she decides to learn the business and become an active partner. She’s also got her hands full fending off Collette, a woman who wants to sell the huge old house in the Irish Channel neighborhood Valerie and her husband painstakingly renovated.
Valerie isn’t interested in selling—but when her best friend Lauren, drags her to a costume party for the women’s Mardi Gras club, the Krewe of Athena, she stumbles over Collette’s body, a jeweled dagger sticking out of her chest. In a rush of panic, Valerie recognizes the dagger from her shop—and before she knows it, she’s become murder suspect number one.

Egged on by Lauren, she starts digging into Collette’s business dealings, and the deeper she digs, the dirtier it gets. Now all fingers are pointing at Valerie. In a desperate bid to clear her name, Valerie frantically tries to find who could have gotten hold of the dagger. But among a cadre of guests in full costume, it could be impossible to find the thief—and unmask the real killer.

My Thoughts

A Streetcar Named Murder by T.G. Herren is the debut of A New Orleans Mystery series.  I thought the author captured New Orleans.  I like that she included the history of the city and events.  We get to learn about krewes and their origins as well.  Valerie Cooper, the protagonist, is a widow of five years.  Her twin boys are enjoying their first year of college.  My feelings about Valerie are mixed.  I want to like her, but she got on my nerves at times.  I wanted her to be less wishy washy.  The one time she was brave was when she should not have been.  Her friend, Lorna, is a force of nature.  I am amazed that the two are friends, especially after learning how they met.   Lorna came over to introduce herself to Valerie shortly after the family moved in.  The twins were running amok (terrible twos time two), and Valerie was worn out.  Lorna quickly got the boys in line (gave them orders) and then the two ladies enjoyed the wine that Lorna brought with her.  I would have taken the wine and sent Lorna packing.  

I found the story to be a slow starter.  The mystery did not take place until slightly past the halfway mark.  By the time the murder occurs, it was obvious who would die and how.  The solution to the whodunit was easy to figure out.  I believe the information was supposed to be a twist, but it can easily be discerned long before the reveal.  The mystery is wrapped up at the end, so I was not left with any lingering questions.  I did feel that there was too much repetition in the story.  I lost track of how many times we are told Valerie is a widow, that the family does not know why Arthur was estranged from the family, and that Lorna writes romance novels.  The pacing was slow.  The overly detailed descriptions and lack of action are the cause (do we really need to know what each person is wearing down to their tie tac or every detail of how Valerie makes her mac and cheese).  There is mild foul language and the consumption of copious amounts of wine.  There is some humor courtesy of Lorna.  As you can tell, A Streetcar Named Murder was not a hit with me.  A Streetcar Named Murder is a Southern cozy mystery with an enigmatic inheritance, a rude realtor, an unusual knife, a krewe party, a dying declaration, a disheveled detective, and a surprising revelation.

A Streetcar Named Murder is available from Amazon*.  You can follow T.G. Herren on Amazon and you will receive an email when the author releases a new book.   Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on January 3 with Something Old, Something New by Amy Clipston.  It is Amy Clipston's latest contemporary romance.  I hope that you have a safe and Happy New Year!  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader  

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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