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Ill-Gotten Panes
Stained-Glass Mystery #1
Jennifer McAndrews

Berkley Prime Crime
July 1, 2014 / ISBN 978-0-425-26795-0
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Georgia Kelly has moved to Wenwood, New York to nurse her broken heart and failed career at the home of her grandfather. The tiny village is the sort where everyone knows everything about everyone else, making Georgia feel more than a tad uncomfortable after the relative anonymity of big city life.

When the local hardware store owner is murdered, Georgia’s grandfather, Pete, whom she calls Grandy, is considered the main suspect since he had an ongoing feud with the deceased. Yet Georgia knows her Grandy wouldn’t hurt or kill anyone, and she finds it hard to believe anyone who knows him could think that of him, either.

Meanwhile, Georgia has found an abandoned kitten and named her Friday. The white ball of fluff goes a long way towards soothing the upsets in Georgia’s life, and she hopes against hope the owner or person who dumped the kitten in an alley won’t come forward. Once Grandy is arrested for the murder of Andy Edgers, Georgia sets out to prove his innocence.

I really enjoyed this first book in a new series. I found myself laughing, smiling, and nodding my head in agreement with how true to life the characters are. The author, Jennifer McAndrews, did an excellent job of setting the scenery of Wenwood, establishing the history of the town’s famous bricks, and sharing the interwoven relationships of the small town characters. I love how the protagonist, Georgia, is confident and strong, and has a big heart that embraces her grandfather and a small kitten, while working to clear her grandfather’s name without putting herself into unnecessary danger. Making new friends and finding a way to earn some money using her stained glass craft skills sets things up nicely for future books. I wonder if eventually Georgia will be able to open her own shop in the now empty hardware store. For now, though, I’m happy to see her make a little money with the help of her new friend Carrie.

I whole- heartedly recommend “Ill-Gotten Panes” to cozy mystery lovers who want to get in on a new series from the very beginning.

Reviewed 2014