In Lynn Cahoon’s Guidebook to Murder, Jill Gardner’s senior citizen friend Miss Emily dies in the small California town of South Cove and leaves her house and estate to Jill, making her own neglectful family very angry and bitter. Jill soon realizes that this blessing is truly mixed when people start trying to get her out of the house. The family thinks they ought have the rights to everything of Miss Emily’s. And a local developer desperately wants that plot of land for his major commercial project. Besides this, the city has sent a letter condemning the property unless she makes major upgrades and fixes it up. Then to make things worse, the police discover that Miss Emily was murdered. And in addition, Jill’s best friend, Amy, who works for the mayor and helps Jill deal with the city, disappears. With these threats against her safety, Jill gets frequent protection by Detective Greg King, who joins her at the house every night. It’s a pity he’s married. . . .
This book was an enjoyable read, and I liked the characters of Jill and Greg. The plot had several interesting twists that kept me eager to find out what was about to happen next. Jill clearly has a caring heart and wants to do what is best for all involved and not just herself. In the midst of all this, she learns neat things about Miss Emily and the local history, making the book a creative, fun one.
I have been loving the narration of Susan Boyce in Jenn McKinlay’s cupcake series, and she doesn’t fail in this book either. She seems to have a keen sense of how to adapt her reading to suit the attitude of the book. I almost didn’t even recognize Boyce because she did such a tremendous job of getting into a less chirpy mood than the cupcake series. She really impressed me a lot with her performance!
Guidebook to Murder is a great start to a new series. I had a good enough time listening to this book that I’m eager to go to the Audible store and purchase the next book in the series. I give this book four stars!
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