Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery #1
Berkley Prime Crime
April 2012/ 978-0-425-24703-7
by Laura Hinds
Lizzie Turner has a way with words. She is an educator, a reading
specialist for youths who need remedial help, and she is a member
of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society,
more commonly known as a book club. Rounding out Lizzie's life in
the small town of Aston Corners, Alabama are her membership in the
Musica Nobilis choir, her cozy apartment, her cats and her jogging
routine. Life is simple and enjoyable, although not exciting.
The simple life becomes complicated when a mysterious stranger
appears at Molly Mathews house as the book club is having its meeting.
The stranger asks to use the phone because his car is broken down.
Minutes later, the stranger, who police identify as Frank Telford,
is found dead outside the house. He was shot to death and it appears
the gun belonged to Molly's late husband, and that it was taken
from the gun cabinet. Molly becomes a suspect in the eyes of the
law, but she isn't the only member of the book club to face scrutiny.
Lizzie wonders if there is anything she can do to help the investigation
along. She wants to help her friends, and she is also eager to spend
more time with the police chief, Mark Dreyfus. After all, she'd
had a crush on him in high school and now that they are grown up
and both single
the sparks are flying.
I found this book to be a most delightful read. The cover is lovely
and inviting, featuring two beautiful Siamese cats, a butterfly
and a serene looking front porch. The story lived up to the cover,
with written illustrations of the settings that I found enchanting.
The Alabama town is portrayed as picturesque, and the citizens are
full of southern charm. The characters are a close-knit bunch, and
Lizzie goes out of her way to make newcomers, like Sally-Jo Baker,
feel welcome. With a laundry list of clues, a handful of suspects,
and a few plausible scenarios for the murder, Lizzie and the police
have their work cut out for them.
I read A Killer Read in just two sittings. It was a fast
read, and one that I didn't want to put down. As a debut novel it's
a winner, and has me hooked and wanting more. It would be a great
book club read, or perfect for a lazy summer weekend.