The tourist town of South Cove, California, is a lovely place to spend the holidays. But this year, shop owner Jill Gardner discovers there's no place like home for homicide. . .
As owner of Coffee, Books, and More, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liasion for a new work program, ‘tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing's worse than Ted Hendricks—the jerk who runs the program. After a few run-ins, Jill's ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car—dead as a doornail. Detective Greg King assumes it's a suicide. Jill thinks it's murder. And if the holidays weren't stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess—before the other shoe drops. . .
"Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover's dream come true." —Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries
Customer ReviewsSee All
a wonderful murder mystery that feels very approachable
I’m always up for a small town story, and the title alone swayed me to read. The second in her ‘Tourist Trap Mysteries’ yet the first I have read, Cahoon brings the feel of a small town, the holidays and interpersonal conflict into a mix that spits out a wonderful murder mystery that feels very approachable to readers who aren’t certain about the mystery genre as a whole.
Jill is a wonderful character: running the book shop and heading the merchant’s association she is well-liked and well known by everyone in this small town. It’s no shocker that the mayor ropes her into supporting a new programme that he is making a highlight of his term, Work Today, headed by the highly offensive and brusque Ted. This programme is to give delinquent teens the opportunity to intern in the town’s many businesses, keeping them out of trouble and giving them a sense of responsibility.
Of course, there are holes in the plan, and to my ever-increasing need to see the most disagreeable character disappear – Ted is murdered. So that fit my plans, but being unfamiliar with the characters I was curious to see who did it. For there were many suspects and opportunities – and Cahoon moved the mystery forward while giving her characters a chance to develop and interact, allowing me to get more familiar with them.
Small towns are rife with drama – and no murder is needed, but add one in and the stakes are higher and it seems as if everyone has their own ideas as to the culprit: and few are silent. A lovely story that brought the town of South Cove to light and life, Cahoon had me wondering until the reveal, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.