Maddie, Trixie, and Suzanne become involved in another murder mystery in their hometown of Estherville. One evening, Maddie and Suzanne are walking down an alley behind a shop and find the body of much-despised Veronica. Despite Detective Edgewater’s advice, Maddie, Suzanne, and Persian cat Maddie, nose around and ask suspects questions about Veronica’s death. Throughout their conversations around town, the trio finds out that there are plenty of people who are surprised to see Verica back in town and would have a motive for murder – a stolen lover, a stolen scholarship opportunity, and false rumors. As the series continues, I am beginning to think that the small town of Estherville is not a safe place to live!
While Maddie and Suzanne are putting together their theories on Veronica’s murder, each deepens their blossoming love interests. Maddie and Luke have been dating for a few months and seem to be on a cozy path to long-term. Suzanne’s crush on Ramon, the Spanish masseuse in town, has become a reality. The two have gone on a few dates and seem to be completely head-over-heels, head-in-the-clouds for each other. While, I love love, these two romances continue to bore me. Maddie and Suzanne are supposed to be in their twenties, but their relationships are juvenile in a physical sense. Even Maddie’s inner dialogue about Luke seems uninteresting and underdeveloped. While Ramon and Suzanne’s developing relationship is much more interesting, it wouldn’t even call it spicy.
Aside from the dull romances, there are the usual grammatical mistakes. Poor sentence structure and word choice. A couple of typos are enough to annoy me, but the continued errors with the rules of quotation punctuation just gets under my skin. As I have commented in previous Maddie Goodwell books, the editing needs to be improved. Jinty James creates these really easy-to-read cozy mysteries, but they don’t need to be discounted. Proper editing will take her stories to another level, which is where she belongs.