Monday, 9 April 2012

Morning Cup of Murder

Author: Vanessa Gray Bartal
Genre: Mystery
Type: e-book (Kindle)
Series: 1st book in the Lacy Steele mystery series
Series Order: see Fantastic Fiction
First Published: September 2011
First Line: "Barbara Blake was home, although she had a hard time thinking of the tiny one-horse town of her birth as "home"."

Synopsis After an emotionally rough couple of years in NYC Lacy has returned to her hometown to lick her wounds.  Due to finances (and a desperate need of some coddling) Lacy moves in with her beloved grandmother.  Unfortunately the highlight of Lacy's life is eating her grandmother's baking.  Her social life is practically non-existent with her only 'social' time being when she heads to the local coffee shop to take advantage of their free wi-fi.

The excitement in Lacy's life increases dramatically when a local woman is murdered.  When Lacy's grandmother is considered to be the main (and only) suspect Lacy decides to prove her grandmother's innocence.  As she begins to delve into the mystery she finds herself having to deal with police officer Jason Cantor, the handsome former high school quarterback who never noticed the frizzy-haired band geek that Lacy was in high school.
My Thoughts When I bought this e-book for a mere 99 cents on my Kindle I was hoping to find a diamond in the rough and a new cozy mystery series to jump into.  Sadly, sometimes you get what you pay for. 

For me, this book was lacking in all areas.  First, the mystery was extremely weak.  What sticks out in my mind is the reason for Lacy's grandmother to be considered a suspect.  It was just silly and so far-fetched that it wasn't believable and I was hoping for another reason to come about as to why this little old lady who baked for everyone was considered a heinous criminal. Unfortunately that never happened.
Secondly, I'm all for witty, romantic banter between the main characters (especially a romantic triangle) but I just didn't buy the romantic tension between Lacy and Jason (or the other male lead).  It felt too forced.

Lastly, pretty much the entire cast of characters were clich├ęd.  From the elderly who are enamoured with bran muffins, to the hot quarterback turned police officer, to the 'mean girl' who continued to be nasty after graduation.  Then there's Lacy.  Dear Lacy.  Lacy is supposed to be this writer from NYC who went from a small town to the big smoke and has a hard time fitting back into small town life.  But to me it feels like she never really grew up.  The way she talks and behaves makes her come off as a silly teenager who is much too insecure to be enjoyable to read.
With not much mystery and a cast of sterotypical characters I'd recommend giving this book a pass. 
My Rating: 2/5 stars

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