If you’re a fan of Alison Henderson’s romantic suspense novels, you know to expect her stories to contain a blend of whimsy and humor, an intriguing plot, and a quirky cast of characters. With this first in the cozy mystery genre, Henderson doesn’t disappoint those fans.
When Izzy Monro gets dumped by her fiancé and her job on the same day, she hightails it to California’s picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea, where she’s inherited property from her aunt, to lick her wounds and start over. She’s quickly met by Rufus, the sometime feline in residence—the first of my quirky character spottings. Others include the enigmatic neighbor/newspaper publisher who doubles as Izzy’s knight in shining armor, her enthusiastic, high-energy hairdresser friend, and dubious (maybe diabolical) shopkeepers. Not to mention the police detective from the past who is showing more than a little personal interest.
As Izzy begins to form her new life, a murder investigation drops into her lap, almost literally, and the amateur sleuth in Izzy quickly takes over. Soon she starts making some people mighty uncomfortable with her activities.
After reading a number of dark thriller types of stories, it was a breath of fresh air to dig into the world Henderson created. I can always count on smiling while reading her books, even in a murder mystery.
A couple of my favorite lines and phrases:
- Chapter 15: “…the mere mention of the word insurance was enough to make most people’s eye glaze over, and it seemed to work with Dottie.”
- Chapter 17: “…his skin a warm olive tone, and his teeth were so white, Izzy almost reached for her sunglasses.”
- Chapter 18: “…her Brazilian butt-lifted backside…”
I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
If you’re looking for a fun read with interesting characters and a killer setting (hahaha…sorry, but I love puns), check out this or one of Henderson’s other works.