Clagan returns home to Orchard, Massachusetts, immediately
after her Grandfather Thom's death. Though estranged from
"GT" since her grandmother's death and his remarriage,
Ruth learned the trade of clock-making helping him as a young
woman. Now she must decide whether to keep or sell the Cog
& Sprocket clock shop she inherited. When the Chief of
Police tells Ruth that her grandfather was murdered, she wonders
who would want to kill a well-respected, older member of the
community, and why?
The author painted a vivid picture of a small town that is
changing, while desperately trying to retain its old-fashioned
charm. I enjoyed reading about Ruth's touching memories of
her grandfather and admired how she bravely confronts the
old ghosts of the past. Working with her stepmother Caroline
to modernize the records leads to Ruth's realization that
Caroline and GT were truly happy. Through the townspeople
of Orchard, both Ruth's old friends and the new residents
she meets, we learn about the small town's struggle to maintain
its charming atmosphere in tough economic times.
The excellent plot was highly entertaining, an outstanding
mystery involving a missing deed, four missing clocks, stolen
jewelry and enough twists and turns to satisfy the most hard-boiled
Just Killing Time is the first and truly outstanding start
in a series that promises to be a winner, replete with small
town politics, fascinating characters, dark secrets and hidden
motives for murder. As a lover of old clocks, I enjoyed learning
about clock-making. As a lover of romance, I enjoyed several
characters whose relationships provide a hint of future romance.
Most of all, I loved the author's visual descriptions of this
charming New England town and the tightly wound mystery that
kept me entranced and lost in time until the very end. I can't
wait to meet all these characters again.