Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Cover Story
Ashton Corners Book Mystery #3
Erika Chase

Berkley Prime Crime
August 2013/ 978-0-425-25211-6
Mystery/Amateur Sleuth/Cozy

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

The Ashton Corners Mystery Reader's and Cheese Straws Society have something new on their agenda. Teensy (who is not teensy at all, but rather larger than life,) has recently moved back to town and asked them to help her launch her new book. The women are excited about helping Teensy- especially Molly Matthews, as she and Teensy were close friends growing up.

Yet two murders get in the way, and protagonist Lizzie Turner once again sets out to solve the crimes, despite the admonitions of her police officer boyfriend, Mark, and the displeasure of the two FBI agents who are in town as well. The murders appear to be the direct result of a counterfeiting operation gone awry. Bundles of fake cash are discovered in boxes of Teensy's book, and the printer, local man Owen Rivers, is one of the murdered men. The other victim is a small time criminal, found dead on the property of former police chief, Bob Miller. There is counterfeit cash on the man's body and more is found in Bob's house. Is it a set up or is Miller really involved with the counterfeit ring?

I enjoyed this book, but not as much as the first two in the series. I'm afraid Lizzie is coming down with the TSTL syndrome. That stands for Too Stupid to Live, and is one of my pet peeves with mystery novels. In a scary movie, the heroine who has TSTL will go blindly into a dark basement where she knows she should not go because the killer could be down there. In a mystery book, the most common situation is the heroine who ignores not only police orders, but her own inner voice. I hope author Erika Chase will set Lizzie on a smarter path in the next book, Book Fair and Foul.

That said, I did like the book and was surprised at the outcome. The killer was not on my radar until the end. I liked the quotes from other current mystery novels that open each chapter. The characters are likeable and familiar, and relationships continue to grow. If you are in a book club, this would be an appropriate book to read and discuss, and perhaps make a game out of guessing who the killer is before your group finishes the book.

Reviewed 2013