Friday, April 13, 2012

Review and Giveaway: 50% Off Murder

50% Off Murder (Good Buy Girls - Book 1) by Josie Belle

Publication Date: April 3,2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback 228pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0425247020
ISBN: 0425247023

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime) 

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Josie Belle (Jenn McKinlay) on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from 50% Off Murder (From Amazon's Inside Look feature)


Everyone loves a good deal, especially the Good Buy Girls, a group of coupon-clipping discount divas who scour the circulars and plan their attacks on stores as if they were generals plotting their war strategies.

Maggie Gerber - one of the founding members of the Good Buy Girls - loves her life in Saint Stanley, Virginia, but things are about to get complicated. First, Sam Collins, her old flame, moves back to town as the new sheriff. Then, Claire Freemont, a librarian and member of the Good Buy Girls, shows up late to a meeting acting utterly strange.

When Maggie goes to visit her the next day at the library, everything seems to be back to normal... until they find the body of a very dead man with a knife plunged into his chest. Turns out the man is someone from Claire's past, which makes her the prime suspect.

As the handsome new sheriff zeroes in on Claire, it's up to Maggie and the rest of the Good Buy Girls to use their bargain-hunting skills to hunt a killer - while making sure they don't pay too much in the process...


Josie Belle is a pen-name for one of our favorite authors, Jenn McKinlay author of the Cupcake Bakery series, and the Library Lovers Mystery series. In her latest book, 50% Off Murder, Belle introduces readers to the Good Buy Girls, a group of women intent on finding bargains and ready for anything. Unfortunately, that anything ends up being murder. With some interesting characters and a unique theme, this series is sure to be a hit!

One of the things that I like the most about Belle's writing is her character development. In the first book in a series the characters usually don't get enough attention because the author is trying to set up not only the story for this book, but the rest of the series as well. Something generally takes a hit and it's usually the characters, but that isn't the case in 50% Off Murder.

Maggie the heroine is a sassy red head with a lot of attitude. She's a bargain hunter, always looking for a good deal. What better characteristic for a would-be amateur sleuth. She's inquisitive and intuitive. Maggie's friends are also looking for a good sale or just the right coupon to save them a few bucks. All in all they are a comical bunch of women who happen to be good friends, who stick up for each other, even when one of them is accused of murder. 

Belle gives readers a great prime suspect in Claire. Claire has history with the murder victim. She has been acting strangely and the knife in his chest is hers. But the author also lets the reader become invested in the character to the point that they know she didn't do it, it's just a matter of how Maggie proves she didn't. I liked the fact that Belle made the main suspect an actual part of the Good Buy Girls. She wasn't just someone they knew from town or a supporting cast member, she was one of the top four. A very nice touch!

Sam and Max are both great supporting characters and add a lot to the overall development of the story. Sam is good sheriff and a good love interest for the heroine. He has the potential to put her in the right place at the right time to be a part of many mysteries just because of his profession. I thought Belle did a great job with all the characters in this one as well as setting the scene and giving the reader someone they could identify with. Whether it's the heroine or the sheriff. 

There was a plethora of suspects and motives as it turns out. The mystery aspect of the book was well written and thought out. I didn't figure this one out until the last few chapters. Belle had me stumped right up to the end. I thought I had it a couple of times but it was just a red herring. I like it when I can't get it too easily. Leaves a little to my imagination so to speak. Belle makes the big reveal seem momentous and the reader will find the conclusion very satisfying. Looking forward to the next installment in this new series!

50% Off Murder is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

The hardest decision Jenn McKinlay was what to major in during college. Then she discovered the sanctuary of the library and library science - a major that allowed her to study all the subjects. She loves working as a library. After all, what other occupation allows you to research the ethnobotanical properties of agave, perform a puppet show for twenty wiggly toddlers, and try to answer why the rabbit's foot is considered lucky, all in the same day? Jenn is the author of The Cupcake Bakery Mysteries and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, in a house that is overrun with books, pets, kids, and her husband's guitars.

                   GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

The Publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of 50% Off Murder by Josie Belle .

~ You must be a GFC follower or E-mail subscriber to participate
~ US addresses only
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST April 27th.

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2. Please fill out the FORM.


cyn209 said...

so need to read 50% Off Murder!!

thank you for the giveaway!!!


Joanne said...

Josie Bell is a new author for me. This book sounds fun and intriguing. Can't wait to read it. I'm going to check out her other books now. Thanks.

Joanne B

Sue Farrell said...

Who doesn't like a good sale? Thanks for the giveaway.

Mary (mkdmom) said...

I enjoy Jenn's other 2 series, and this one looks to be like another winner.

Carol N Wong said...

I love great character development so I am very happy that you said this book is very good in it.


Karen B said...

Good Buy Girls - love that name! This sounds like another great series.


Renee said...

This sounds like a fun read! I can't wait!

My Recent Favorite Books said...

I love this authors books!

This one is on my "to be read" list.

Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Carol M said...

This sounds good. I'd love to read it! Thank you!

Martha Lawson said...

Got to read this one, since I'm a librarian!! It sounds really good and I'd love to be entered!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

lag123 said...

I would love to read more about these characters.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Theresa N. said...

I'm a bargain hunter too so it sounds like a lot of fun.
Theresa N

bn100 said...

This sounds like a good book. Thanks for the giveaway.

Susan S. said...

thanks for the giveaway!