Buried in a Good Book

Poisoned Pen. (By the Book Mystery, Bk. 1). May 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781728248608. pap. $8.99. M
In this new series opener by Berry (creator of the “Eleanor Wilde” cozy mysteries), thriller writer Tess Harrow thinks a log cabin in the woods is the perfect spot to write her latest book. There’s no Wi-Fi, no phone service, no electricity, and no running water. It might not be the perfect spot to bring her 14-year-old daughter, Gertie, who is still grieving her parents’ divorce after Tess’s husband, Quentin, left them. Even Tess might reconsider after an explosion and dead fish and body parts rain from the sky. When the sheriff shows up, and he’s a doppelganger for Tess’s fictional detective, she’s ready to sign up to investigate. Who else has years of experience with methods of murder? It’s a slapstick comedy of murder as Bigfoot, a tiger trap, and mynah birds in the trees provide a distraction from the case. Who killed the woman who fell from the sky, and later, a second victim?
VERDICT Fans of quirky small-town cozies, such as Joan Hess’s “Maggody” mysteries, might want to try this. The far-fetched scenarios and characters might also appeal to readers who enjoy the offbeat, including fans of Paige Shelton’s “Alaska Wild” books.
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