Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction
Author: Amy Metz
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: Iconic Publishing, LLC (August 5, 2012)
Language: English ISBN-10: 0985138874
In 1932, John Hobb, father of four, is a witness to a bank robbery. He identifies the robbers and testifies against them. They are later pardoned by the governor.
In 1935, Hobb is found in his idling car by the side of the road, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. The circumstances surrounding his death are a mystery, and the killer is unknown.
In 2010, John Hobb's murder is still unsolved when Tess Tremaine moves into his former house. She finds a job at the local bookstore, which is owned by Lou Stafford, the youngest daughter of John Hobb. During renovations to the old house, Tess finds a mysterious old key, labeled "trunk." Mayhem ensues when she attempts to find the owner of the key: Her house is broken into twice, but nothing is taken; she finds cigarette butts and footprints outside a bedroom window; she gets threatening phone calls and ominous messages in the mail; she and a friend are attacked on the street. All of this has the opposite reaction than was intended---it doesn't scare her away, it strengthens her resolve to find John Hobb's murderer.
This is a cute story with likeable characters set in a warm and welcoming small Southern town. You want to shop at their stores and eat in their diner. I would love to be able to walk my dog through downtown and enjoy the friendliness. I used to live in a little town like this and it did indeed make me miss it.
There is a mystery revolving around the house that Tess moves into, secrets that need to remain hidden and things that need to be found. The story pops back and forth between the 1930s and 2010. Poor Tess is barely settled in when the house is trashed, people are spying across the street and peering into her windows. She refuses to back down, and slowly, with the help of a handsome, well-known and successful author who just happens to live in town, mysteries are uncovered. Along the way love also begins to sparkle and twinkle between these two. There's a nice background story here also wherein Tess has successfully published a children's book and is trying to transition into adult romance. Throwing in author angst is a good hook, a lot of people enjoy the "behind the scenes" action of an author becoming published.
The only small bothersome thing that I will say about the story is that the author makes a great deal about the fact that Tess has to learn the "Southern Language" and often requires interpretation from others as to what words came out of of someone's mouth. While meaning no harm, after a while it can get tiring to constantly be reminded that Tess feels Southerners are so hard to understand. But that is just a Southerner's thoughts - someone from another part of the country probably wouldn't give it a second thought.