Genre: Cozy Mystery
Piper Prescott and Police Chief Wyatt McBride might have gotten off on the wrong foot but, over the past year, their interactions have evolved into a friendship of sorts. And when the body of Shirley Randolph is found floating in a fishing hole, their relationship reaches entirely new territory.Shirley, the town's Realtor of the Year, was also Wyatt's suspected romantic interest, and now the residents of Brandywine Creek are speculating that Wyatt is responsible for her death. As the town council moves to suspend the handsome lawman, Piper springs into action to save his reputation and possibly his freedom. She enlists the aid of her BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, along with Wyatt himself, to help solve the puzzle and find Shirley’s real killer.Pointing them toward high-powered real estate tactics and possible affairs, the investigation soon becomes personal when Piper's shop, Spice It Up!, is burglarized, and she’s forced off the road late one night, narrowly escaping serious injury. Realizing that she must be close to uncovering the truth, and that the evidence against Wyatt is no longer circumstantial, Piper resorts to drastic measures to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.
Review: Although this is the fifth book in the Spice Shop series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel (which I did, as I have not read the first four yet).
Piper and Reba Mae are an entertaining pair of friends, and they work well as a crime-solving duo, as well. They work their way into other people's business, usually with humorous consequences. Piper has children who require her attention and patience, which makes her character more realistic and likable.
Piper is romantically interested in the local police chief, who is also the prime suspect when a woman rumored to be his girlfriend is found dead on his property. If Piper doesn't want to spend the rest of her life visiting Wyatt in prison, she's going to have to find the actual murderer--and avoid becoming the next victim.
This is a well-written story, and the mystery keeps the reader guessing right up until the big reveal. Highly recommended to all cozy mystery lovers.
Rating: Four stars
Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement. While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington. It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery. Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL. In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look. Gail has written five Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s. Her favorite pastimes are reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends.Author Links
Webpage - www.gailoust.com,
Gail Oust Author on Facebook, and Goodreads.
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