Sunday, September 07, 2008

Goody Goody Gunshots - Sammi Carter


Goody Goody Gunshots
A Candy Shop Mystery
Sammi Carter
Berkley Prime Crime

Mystery

Abby Shaw, owner of the candy store Divinity in Paradise, Colorado, has had a tough evening. First, her nephews (8 and 12) begged her to become the assistant coach of their basketball team. Without another adult on the bench, the team will be disbanded. Abby is not very enthused about the job or the time she would have to be away from making and selling candy, but she’s just getting to know her nephews after living in CA for years, and she’s feeling guilty. Lost in thought after dropping off the boys, she nearly runs over a mysterious man with a limp. Narrowly missing the man by slamming on her brakes, she hears gunshots and sees the man fall.

Racing back to her brother’s home, she calls the police. But when they all arrive back at the scene, it’s completely deserted. No body, no blood, no evidence that anything happened at all. A few days later, after a basketball practice, Abby spots the same man wielding a metal bar near the coach’s truck. This time her nephews see him, too. She gives chase, but loses the man. At least now she knows he exists. Until, that is, her faithful dog, Max, noses into a pile of rags during a walk. A pile that turns out to be the man’s dead body.

The latest installment in this cozy series (PEPPERMINT TWISTED) is charming without being cloying and entertaining without resorting to goofy antics. Abby’s contact with the latest dead body progresses quite naturally, and it’s fun to watch her family and friends wonder how she manages to keep getting mixed up in situations like this. Abby is a realistic character; a woman who’s working hard to keep her shop running and make a living, while getting closer to her family. The subplots involving the basketball team and a new shop employee keep the story humming along, and, for those so inclined, there are some sinful-sounding recipes included.

Rating: 7
September 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22332-1 (paperback)

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