Sunday, June 10, 2007

Scene of the Grime - Suzanne Price



Scene of the Grime
A Grime Solvers Mystery
Suzanne Price
Signet

Mystery/Cozy

The New England hamlet of Pigeon Cove is a quiet tourist attraction, filled with Bed & Breakfast inns, gorgeous views of the sea, and eccentric inhabitants. That goes for both full-time residents and the visitors. A newcomer to Pigeon Cove, Sky Taylor has relocated after the death of her husband. While rebuilding her life, she’s managed to put her love for order and cleanliness to good use by starting her own cleaning business. Her customers include various inns and local businesses.

One of Sky’s favorite regular visitors is Abel Monahan, whom she affectionately calls Old Abe. Abe visits several times each year, and owns a parcel of empty property at the edge of town. As hobbies, he scours flea markets and estate sales for old books; nothing makes him happier than finding a rare book at a bargain price. And, to relax, he builds a never-ending wall of found stones on his piece of property.

During her regular cleaning rounds, Sky hears Abe’s cat crying from his room. Worried about the welfare of the animal, she enters the room to find it shut up in the closet. Following the cat further into the room, she finds Abe, lying on the floor, dead of a head wound. Although the Sheriff is investigating the crime, Sky feels compelled to look into the death of her friend. Contrary to what she thought, not everyone in town loved Abe. And Abe had his share of secrets.

This is the first in a promising new cozy mystery series. Sky is a wonderful character. She’s naturally upset at finding her friend dead, but pragmatic enough to find non-confrontational ways to investigate. Unlike too many amateur sleuths, Sky thinks before acting; she’s not the kind of person to throw herself into an obviously dangerous situation. There are enough suspects among the locals to make the mystery interesting; and there’s a great twist that I never saw coming. Throughout the book, Sky gives simple and useable cleaning tips (lemons clean chrome; denture tablets clean the cloudy stuff out of vases) and there’s a whole list of tips at the end. I hope to see much more of Sky and the residents of Pigeon Cove.

Rating: 7
June 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22109-4 (paperback)

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