Thursday, January 10, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway - A Literal Mess (An Allie Cobb Mystery) by J.C. Kenney

Book Synopsis
The first book in a new series featuring Allie Cobb brings the New York literary agent back to her Hoosier home town where a mysterious death keeps everyone on spoiler alert . . .

Allie Cobb left home for the literary circles of Manhattan to make her name out from under the shadow of her legendary father. Now his death brings her and her rescue cat Ursula back to the southern Indiana town of Rushing Creek, population: 3,216. But a tragic new chapter hits the presses when the body of her father’s hard-drinking, #1 bestselling client is found under the historic town bridge. The local police suspect foul play and their prime candidate for murder is the author’s daughter—Allie’s longtime friend.

Determined to clear her bestie, Allie goes into fact-checking amateur detective mode while trying to ignore the usual rumormongers. Those with means, motive, and opportunity include the vic’s ex-wife, his rejected girlfriend, the mayor, and a rival agent trying to mooch clients. With a rugged genealogist distracting her and the imminent Fall Festival about to send tourists descending on their once-peaceful hamlet, Allie needs to stay alive long enough to get a read on a killer ready to close the book on a new victim: Allie . . .

My Review
A Literal Mess  tells the story of Allie Cobb, an editor in New York City who returns to her hometown in Indiana after her father dies following a long illness.  She is reunited with her family and her best friend Sloane.  When Sloane's father, a famous author who worked with Allie's editor father, suddenly is murdered, Allie becomes involved in the mystery.

I wanted to read this book because I like cozy mysteries with small town settings, and I also was interested in Allie's work as an editor.  It is a short, light read, and would be good for a weekend or vacation.

I liked the character of Allie, especially seeing her assimilate back into the small town where she grew up after years away.  There were a number of characters to meet in this book, and the author did a good job of developing them.  He writes dialogue especially well, and I liked the conversations that moved the story forward.  

The mystery was well plotted with just enough clues for readers.  I thought the mystery pacing was also well done.

This is a short read (under 200 pages) and I enjoyed it but would have liked even more about the characters.  I especially would have liked more of a sense of place with the town -- more descriptions.

A Literal Mess is a good start to a new cozy series.  I look forward to reading more of Allie's adventures in the next book!

Author Bio
J.C. Kenney grew up in a household filled with books by legends Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun, among many others, so it was no surprise when he found himself writing mystery stories. When he’s not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two sons, and a cat who is the inspiration for Ursula in the Allie Cobb Mysteries.

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Purchase links
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1 comment:

J.C. Kenney said...

Thanks so much for having me today and for the kind words in your review. I truly appreciate it. Have a great day!