Good Buy Girls Mystery #1
Berkley Prime Crime
April 2012/ 978-0-425-24702-0
by Laura Hinds
Saint Stanley, Virginia is home to a group of bargain hunting women
who call themselves the Good Buy Girls (GBG). Charter member Maggie
Gerber has an eye for bargains, and a nose for getting to the heart
of the matter. When her friend and fellow Good Buy Girl, Claire
Freemont, finds herself in trouble, Maggie makes it her business
to save her friend from murder charges.
Claire is a librarian, and a relative newcomer to town and to the
GBG group. Claire behaves strangely one evening during a group meeting,
sparking Maggie's curiosity. The very next day, the body of a man
who was stabbed to death is found. He died in the basement of the
library, and once Claire owns up to having had a past relationship
with him she is named as the chief suspect.
The new sheriff in town is not only on Claire's case, he's also
on Maggie's last nerve. He and Maggie have a contentious relationship
that began when they were toddlers and went through a romantic phase
during high school. Maggie not only wants to help Claire, she wants
to show up the man who deeply hurt her many years ago.
50% Off Murder begins with the GBG on their marks to be
first at a twice-a-year shoe sale. Their methods for making the
most of a sale are smart and effective. One of my favorite things
about this book is learning their strategies. I love a good bargain
myself and really wish I had such a supportive group to hunt for
deals with. Author Josie Belle (who also writes as Jenn McKinlay)
has woven together a cast of women who act their age, know how to
ferret out information, and whose friendships know no boundaries.
I enjoyed the Virginia setting, the entire cast of characters and
the light humor scattered throughout. When you have a librarian
as a potential murderer, an antagonistic relationship between the
sheriff and an amateur sleuth, and a group of seasoned and determined
bargain hunters it is the perfect recipe for a modern day cozy mystery.
The book is appropriate for teens to adults and would be great for
a book club selection or a fun book to share with a couponing or
bargain hunting group of your own.