Publication Date: 10/01/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Josie Belle (aka. Jenn McKinlay) on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest
Books in the series:
50% Off Murder (2012), A Deal to Die for (2012), Buried in Bargains (2013)
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from Buried in Bargains, courtesy of the author's website.
Maggie Gerber and those discount divas, the Good Buy Girls, are gearing up for their first big holiday thrift shop sale. But one of the Girls—Joanne Claramotta, pregnant with her first child—is acting less than festive. It could be hormones. Or it could be Diane Jenkins, the young knockout her husband, Michael, hired as his new deli assistant.
Calming Joanne’s nerves proves impossible when Maggie finds Michael unconscious on his deli floor—and with Diane next to him, strangled to death with her apron strings. Then Maggie discovers something even more disturbing.
There’s no record of Diane having been hired. In fact, she has no history at all. It’s as if she never even existed. Now Maggie fears that unwrapping Michael’s secrets could really kill her holiday spirit.
The Good Buy Girls are back in the third installment of the series, Buried in Bargains. Author Josie Belle (aka. Jenn McKinlay) has created a series that is refreshing in the cozy sub-genre. It isn't a culinary mystery series this time, but a shopping series. In this economy who doesn't need tips on finding a good bargain? Belle enchants readers with the cozy town of St. Stanley and the ladies of the Good Buy Girls group. Readers will be scratching their heads with this mystery. Who is she and where did she come from? A great addition to the series!
First of all Jenn McKinlay has a lot of irons in the fire. She is the author of not one, but five different cozy mystery series'. Now that's impressive. As Josie Belle, McKinlay writes about one of most women's favorite pass times, shopping. I loved the whole theme of the series and Buried in Bargains is set during the Christmas season, when bargains really matter. So I thought that was a great plot point. I liked the fact that the author also put that great hot chocolate in a jar gift in the back of the book as well. Cute and a lot of fun to make and give as a gift, and quite economical too boot.
When one of the Good Buy Girls isn't in a festive mood. Everyone believes it's hormones, but more than likely it's the sexy new assistant her husband has hired to work at their family deli. At first that looked like a pretty cut and dried plot. The wife gets framed for either the murder of the husband or the assistant. Well it turns out it was the assistant, but that's just the beginning of this story. The assistant wasn't really an assistant. In fact she doesn't really exist, at least as far as anyone can figure out. She has no past, but she is dead. I liked the whole plot there were several interesting aspects to it. The wife being pregnant. How the girl was associated with the husband. Who was she and where did she come from? It will definitely keep you guessing.
Maggie once again steals the show. She is a wonderful amateur sleuth. She has that subtle charm that helps her get information out of people with ease. She has ins with the local police as she once dated the Sheriff in high school. But most importantly she has good friends and townspeople to back her up. I love her store, My Sister's Closet and the ideas she has for selling her gently used clothing. I liked the hunt for gift wrap and the jovial friendship that is apparent with the Good Buy Girls. There is a lot to love about Maggie and I think readers will find her captivating and very easy to identify with.
I loved the growing attraction between Maggie and the Sheriff and how Belle is letting it work itself out as the series goes along. It's not easy to be an amateur sleuth when you love interest is the head of the police department. I fear there will be struggles a head for these two, but the beginnings of their relationship is fun to read and anticipate. Readers get a good dose of romance, a well thought out mystery and a great theme with Buried in Bargains.
I am looking forward to seeing what the Good Buy Girls get into next. The preview in the back of this book for the next book in the series, was excellent. It's got my curiosity up, don't forget to check it out when you finish the book.
Buried in Bargains is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Josie Belle is a pseudonym for Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author of the Library Lover's mysteries and the Cupcake Bakery mysteries.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Buried in Bargains by Josie Belle.
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