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Between a Book and a Hard Place
Devereaux's Dime Store #5
Denise Swanson

March 1, 2016/ ISBN 978-0-451-47776-7
Mystery / Cozy / Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Dev Sinclair runs a five and dime store in her hometown of Shadow Bend. The small town's library was closed years ago because of budget cuts and everyone is excited when a wealthy man comes to town to offer to pay to reopen it. Dev is far less than thrilled when she finds out that the man, Jett Benedict, is her wayward mother's latest husband.

She certainly suspects that there are ulterior motives involved. When her mother, Yvette, finds Jett dead in the library and calls Dev's father, who is barely out of prison for crimes he didn't commit, Dev makes the decision to get her father out of the crime scene and tell the police that she and her mother found Jett's body together. Is this a wise decision that will save her father or one that will land all three of them in prison for a long, long time?

While all this is going on, there is a Professor Hinkley in town. He claims that there are UFO's being seen around town and that he’s in communication with the aliens and plans to welcome them to earth. To top it off, one of Devereaux's suitors, Noah Underwood, is watching his mother Nadine unravel further and further mentally. She's even become a believer in the UFOs. The other man in Dev's life, Jake Del Vecchio, is distracted by his own mentally damaged wife, Meg. Poor Dev just can't win! The questions remain as to whether she'll be able to unmask the killer to save her parents, resolve the UFO situation and figure out a way to fix her own love life!

This is a fun and fast read in an entertaining series. The characters and relationships continue to develop in unexpected ways and bringing in Dev's mother adds to the back story. Although I didn't find the mysteries too challenging to solve, I remained engaged and interested throughout the book.

If you love a solid mystery with some romance, some offbeat characters and unusual plots, you won't want to miss “Between a Book and a Hard Place.”

Reviews of other titles in this series

Little Shop of Homicide #1
Nickled and Dimed to Death #2
Dead Between the Lines
Dying for a Cupcake #4
Between a Book and a Hard Place #5

Reviewer Note: Denise Swanson also writes the Scumble River Mystery series

Reviewed 2016