A Cozy Mystery Book Review
Every once in a while, I find myself cozying up with a mystery (pun intended) that is both funny, intriguing, and therefore beckons for a book review. When a cozy mystery offers up humor, fun characters, and a protagonist that flaunts her attitude as much as she does her heels and handbags, I can’t really resist the urge to become a book-reading sleuth as I read along.
Stilettos & Scoundrels is the first of the Presley Thurman mystery series. I was completely unaware of what I was walking into when I first began reading this mystery novel.
Presley Thurman is an outspoken woman who loves fashion, gossip, and her daily lattes. Her eye for hot men and fashion trends give her a big personality that pops off the page, or out of the speakers if you’re listening to audio (as I was). Presley may have lost her job, but she lands on her high-heeled feet with ease, sashaying into her new role as a writer for an online paper. This inevitably has her trying to solve the crime she was supposed to just report on.
The biggest selling point for this book is the characters. Their personalities make them easy to visualize and remember. This is helpful when you’re introduced to a whole town of people, who will be in the rest of the series.
I enjoyed traveling along with Presley as she takes a turn into a new career. She finds her calling as a writer who naturally loves to snoop and eavesdrop. When you’re new to mystery solving, it helps to live in a small town where gossip runs like tap water. Schmoozing with locals to uncover dirt is a lot of fun, especially for someone like Presley. She makes nosing around seem like a pastime.
None of the other characters have quite as loud a personality as Presley, but they’re all memorable without being cookie cutter. As Presley catches up with her old town, we’re introduced to former love interests and old friends. Turner incorporates the realism of seeing how these relationships have altered, as well as showing some people who never change.
Who Done It?
I know I’m not the only one who challenges themselves into figuring out the murderer when reading a mystery. I won’t reveal “who done it” (NO SPOILERS!). But, when the plot was revealed, I felt shocked and almost betrayed. Seriously, I usually pride myself on seeing the suspicious characters, but I really did not see this one coming.
I am still shocked. I wonder if I should reread the book just to see if I missed any hints at the real killer.
Audio Book Review
Audio Narrator: Margie Lenhart
I was given this book as a freebie when I subscribed for Laina Turner’s newsletter. I love when authors are generous – it’s the best way to spread word of mouth. However, I ended up buying and downloading the audiobook with my own money.
I think I listened to an older version, which needed a few editing points, but nothing that would ruin the appeal of the story. Laina Turner made comments on her own book, and was honest enough to say that it needed revision. THAT, in my opinion, is the mark of a good author – someone who takes critiques and improves her work, thus publishing newer editions of Stilettos & Scoundrels.
The narration wasn’t bad. I found Lenhart’s rendition of Presley’s personality enjoyable. She really brought the main character to life.
I am impressed that an indie author put her book on audio – a rare gem for this audio listener to enjoy.
I look forward to reading/listening to another of Turner’s books in the future.