Murder Buys a T-shirt (Haunted Souvenir - Book 1) by Christy Fifield
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 288pp
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Christy Fifield on the WEB: blog, facebook, twitter
Glory Martine has inherited her great-uncles souvenir shop, Southern Treasures - along with a supersize headache. Nestled in Keyhole Bay, Florida, the shop is stuffed not only with collectibles and mementos of times gone by, but a ghost who, like her customers, refuses to let go of the past...
Glory always dismisses ghost stories - until she inherits her great-uncle Louis's souvenir shop, where items seem to rearrange themselves and her pet parrot, Bluebeard, is suddenly uttering phrases he couldn't have picked up from the customers. If Glory told anyone the shop was haunted, they'd think the fresh sea air had gone to her head...
Then, at an end-of-summer party, local football hero Kevin Stanley dies, and the store starts to go haywire. Glory finally shares her secret with her best friend, who takes it seriously - and is convinced the ghost is trying to send a message. Kevin's death was no accident, and it's linked to Glory's very own great-uncle Louis. Now Glory must dig through the junk to find the truth, before someone leaves her with a deadly souvenir of her own...
Christy Fifield brings readers the first in a new cozy mystery series set in Florida. Murder Buys a T-shirt is the first book in the Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery series. Fifield gives readers a great southern cozy with lots of local flair, some great down-home cooking and characters that will want to get to know. The author uses a paranormal twist to give the story a supernatural feel, while still keeping the atmosphere light and full of surprises.
Since this is the first book in the series, it can be expected to have a slower pace, as readers get to the people who are going to populate the series, as well as the setting and the overall feel of the series. Fifield does a good job of setting the scene and allowing the reader into the everyday life of the town and most importantly the souvenir shop itself. She introduces the main characters, Glory and Karen and establishes their relationship. She then introduces supporting characters that add to the story, give the book some comic relief and provide the drama needed to keep the reader interested. Fifield uses a good formula and executes it well, giving the reader quick read, that doesn't get too serious and still provides all the ingredients of a great mystery.
Bluebeard the parrot has to be my favorite character. When Glory inherits her great uncle Louis' souvenir shop, she gets Bluebeard as well. What a great name for a parrot! My readers know that I am fond of a paranormal twist in my cozies and this was a good fit for me. Though there has been a great infux of cozies featuring ghosts of some kind, this one was a little different. The ghost speaks through the parrot. It was a unique twist on the supernatural.
Murder Buy's a T-shirt introduces readers to Glory Martine. Glory is smart lady and uses her head when she needs to. She has been on her own for long time after losing her parents as a teen and now she has her own shop, a great set of friends a murder to solve. I thought Fifield did a great job with characterization. Glory is the kind of person I would want as a friend and that makes me want to come back and read more about her as the series progresses. I also liked her best-friend Karen, the reporter. The dynamic between them was fun to read and made me lonesome of that one-of-kind friend that you can tell anything to. If an author can make a reader have those kinds of emotions, chances are she is going to have a great career.
I loved the supporting cast as well. Ernie and Felipe, as well as, Jake the bookstore owner add their own kind of flair to the story. I loved the meals that they cook up and the way they helped Glory sort out the suspects and get a handle on the clues. This cozy is very light, but the whodunit is still interesting and hard to predict. I didn't peg the killer until the author wanted me to and I had fun trying to solve the crime right along with the heroine. This is a good book and I think cozy fans are going to like it and get interested in this new series. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one and Oh yeah... you gotta try Felipe's Pan Fried Chicken... Yum!
Murder Buys a T-Shirt is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Christy Evans is a mystery pseudonym used by northwest writer Christina F. York. Chris/Christy also writes under other names, including her own and Christy Fifield, depending on the genre and series. Chris has never met a genre she doesn’t like, and has published mystery, romance, adventure, fantasy and science fiction. Mystery has always been her favorite though, since her great uncle introduced her to the “Perry Mason” books when she was a child. She read each new book as he finished with it and passed it on. The die was cast, she either had to become a lawyer, or a mystery writer. As fate would have it, mystery writer won.
Chris lives on Oregon’s Pacific shore with her writer-husband J. Steven York and two cats, Oz, and “Bad Agent” Sydney T. Cat.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Murder Buys a T-Shirt by Christy Fifield.
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~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST March 26th.
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