Six books of this series were available on Netgalley, pre-approved. I downloaded the first one only, not wanting to take them all on if #1 turned out to be a dud. It didn’t take long, though, before I was back in there requesting all of them.
The tales of “Meredith Morehouse, curator of the eclectic Imogene Museum” were very enjoyable. Quick, light – but not fluffy-light – and nicely written, they were what I actually want to see in a cozy mystery. Yes, the dreaded c-word. Yes, it’s a series centered around a woman who keeps tripping over corpses and/or encounters more crime than anyone outside law enforcement realistically would. But there was enough justification provided, and moreover I enjoyed myself enough, that my usual gripe was put to rest.
The characters were delightful. Meredith, through whose eyes the first-person action is seen, is a boon companion, striking all the right notes between self-deprecation and confidence. I want her job. A lot. And I love that she not only adopted a dog who needed adopting but named her Tuppence after the Agatha Christie she was reading at the time. Sheriff Marge Stettler is kind of awesome, and utterly atypical. George the handyman was very nicely handled. And I actually worried along with Meredith over her missing intern, Greg. Emotional involvement? Score.
The setting was beautifully drawn, and written with obvious affection and knowledge (though it did take a while for me to twig to the actual location: Washington State). It reminds me of New England, only moreso. I’d love to see it.
The writing, as mentioned, was fresh and clever. Notable quotes:
I want an opportunity to steal this: “The odds may be good, but the goods may be odd.”
And this echoes my own feelings on modern art: “I heaved the punching bag onto the recliner. It looked like a giant sausage taking a nap and could easily be mistaken for a modern art installation.” Which may or may not be related to “If its proximity to the dumpster had symbolic meaning, that was best left up to the viewer.”
And this sounds like something I might want to try one of these days: “chicken, peppers and onions rolled in flour tortillas and smothered in a cheesy cream sauce, like enchiladas but better”. Any book I can get a recipe out of racks up points with me.
“You did right, George.” He turned toward me. “Right or good?
There were a couple of slips in editing (e.g. “I laid on my side”), but they’re mainly noticeable because they’re infrequent. Very nice indeed – I enjoyed this and the other five I was lucky enough to receive free, and will absolutely buy any further books in the series yet to come.
And I loved the chamberpot side mystery.
The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.