In Murder and Mayhem in Goosepimple Junction by Amy Metz, Tess Tremaine moves to the small Southern town of Goosepimple Junction to start life anew after a painful divorce, where she meets some unique friends in this cozy little community. Tess meets new friends in the cafe, in particular Jackson Wright, the famous author who makes his home in Goosepimple Junction and is eager to date Tess. But after her divorce due to a cheating husband, Tess is very reluctant to start a new relationship, especially after hearing rumors that he cheated on his first wife. Getting a job at the local bookstore, Tess is intrigued to learn that the owner grew up in the house on Walnut St. So when she finds an old key in the house, it seems only natural to ask her new boss about it, leaving the woman pale and shaken. Then, that evening when she gets home, Tess discovers that someone has broken into her house and completely ransacked it. When someone breaks into the house during the middle of the next night, Tess really feels insecure, especially since the sheriff doesn’t take her case seriously. So she and Jack go on an investigation that takes them to a bank robbery in 1932.
This book has an interesting format. Each chapter begins with a definition of a Southern term, giving an example of its usage and using that term in the chapter that follows. Then, the chapter goes back to the past, beginning in 1932 in chapter one, gradually recounting the events of the bank robbery and subsequent murder that figure into the main part of the book before it turns to the present day events. The developing relationship between Tess and Jack grows with strength, though I felt they spent too much time kissing passionately, which gets tedious and not really suited to a cozy mystery.
Karen Commins narrates this book very ably, giving great expression to the story without overly emoting. She handles the accents, of a range between strong Southern and light Virginian Southern. Commins has a gentle voice that gives just the right energy to this book, especially with all the deep Southern terms specific to Goosepimple Junction.
I enjoyed the experience of listening to Murder and Mayhem in Goosepimple Junction. It was cleverly written, and the format of the book came across cleverly. I did sometimes get confused by the names, but usually things worked out ok for me to follow. I give this book four stars.
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