Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Every Trick in the Book

Author: Lucy Arlington
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Type: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 304
Source: Local Public Library
Series: #2 in the Novel Idea series
Publisher: Berkley
First Published: February 5, 2013
First Line: "By the middle of October, the heat and lassitude of a Southern summer had finally loosed its hold over the quaint, artsy town of Inspiration Valley."

Book Description from GoodReads: The national bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries return with Lila Wilkins, who has just been promoted to full-time literary agent. But great new writers aren’t the only people she’s trying to catch…Lila Wilkins has it all: the home of her dreams in the charming town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina; a perfect police officer boyfriend; and a new job she absolutely loves. At the Book and Author Festival, which is sponsored by the Novel Idea Literary Agency, Lila expects to discover some talented new authors, but what she finds instead is the body of an editor to whom she bears an eerie resemblance.

Trouble is, the editor’s death isn’t the only literary murder taking place. Soon a blossoming author is also killed, and Lila has a gut feeling that the two murders are linked. Now she must hunt down the dark figure who killed these women—and to her surprise, she just might find the clues hidden in a manuscript…

My Review: Even though it's been years since I had read the first book in this series, the main character Lila and this cozy mystery have stuck with me.  That says a lot for someone who reads as much as I do. Recently I grabbed the chance to get reacquainted with Lila, Inspiration Valley and its quirky residents.

Unfortunately this book paled in comparison to the first book with a much weaker plot and a real lack of suspense.  For some reason the reader is privy to the culprit early on and merely waits for Lila to figure things out which really throws the whole 'mystery' out the window.  There aren't even major twists to the plot and the secondary story line involving Lila's son Trey was obvious from the get-go too. This was not the reunion that I was hoping for.

I loved reading about the behind the scenes workings of a book editor but there were issues that didn't ring true for me as I kept reading.  Lila's emotions/actions are all over the place.  One moment she's feisty and going to find a murderer, then she's cowering in a closet mumbling to herself only to then run off to an abandoned building with only her barista friend to find the killer.  Say wha?

Also, the reason why Lila feels the need to bud into (aka take over) the police investigation is because she met the victim once and they have a strange resemblance to one another.  Not a huge reason to put yourself in harm's way but Lila proceeds with her own investigation even getting her boyfriend/police officer to give her confidential files to look through.  This action didn't ring true for his character which is an upstanding police detective but felt like a haphazard way to get Lila more info.

The secondary characters, which are a staple in a good cozy, are back again but could have been used more.  I love Lila's best friend and barista extraordinaire, as well as Lila's quirky mother who, unfortunately, was barely in this book.

Sadly, this was a very weak book for me.  It's an easy read but if you're looking for a mystery you may also be disappointed.  I'm not writing off this series yet but it may take awhile before I pick up the third book in the series. 

My Rating: 2/5 stars

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