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Clock and Dagger
Clock Shop #2
Julianne Holmes

Berkley Prime Crime
8/2/2016/ ISBN 978-0-425-27553-5
Mystery / Cozy

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Ruth Clagan is ready to launch the grand reopening of Cog & Sprocket, the clock shop she recently inherited from her Grandpa Thom. The shop has been closed for renovations, and Ruth has even hired some employees to help her get things ticking.

The last thing she needs is the owner of the newest shop in town, a bookstore, causing trouble. Beckett Green has decided to sell coffee in his shop to compete with the local coffee shop, the Sleeping Latte. Next on his agenda is to directly compete with the Cog & Sprocket by not only selling clocks and watches but by trying to get Ruth's watchmaker, Mark Pine, to come work for him! Green also intends to stop Ruth from her plan to renovate the small town of Orchard's clock tower – a project that had been near and dear to Grandpa Thom.

After an Open House and launch party, Ruth discovers Mark's body. Why would anyone kill this bright young man who everyone seemed to like? Could it have been Beckett Green? Or is something even more nefarious going on in the small town of Orchard, Massachusetts?

The author has done a wonderful job of conveying the small town feel which is characteristic of a cozy mystery. The town is teetering between newcomers and political greed wanting to bring in the big chain and big box stores, and the families who have lived there for generations and want to retain the charm and character as it has always been.

There were plenty of potential suspects offered and a couple of possible motives, yet our protagonist Ruth couldn't quite figure out who the killer was. There was a point in the story where I caught on as to what was going on, but it wasn't until the final clue was revealed that things clicked into place.

This is a fun summer read, but is set in the winter, so really would be a good year round read. It's appropriate for teens on up, both men and women would find something of interest and a mystery book club would enjoy it as well. The time will fly by as you breeze through chapter after chapter while trying to solve the mystery.

Reviewed 2016