Friday, August 04, 2006

A Pour Way To Dye - Tim Myers

A Pour Way To Dye
A Soapmaking Mystery
Tim Myers
Berkley Prime Crime

Mystery - Cozy

Benjamin Perkins, along with his mother and six siblings, runs the family business, Where There’s Soap. Ben’s three brothers run the factory production line, his three sisters run the boutique shop and teach classes, and Mom is there to oversee them all. Ben, the eldest sibling, is the business trouble-shooter. And he’s got his work cut out for him today. Arriving at work, he finds the entire back parking area blocked off by a chain-link fence. This fence, which is not exactly visible, and thus, invites ramming by family cars, was erected by perennial pain Earnest Joy, the jeweler whose property backs onto Where There’s Soap.

Joy is in early, and obviously anticipating the confrontation. He tells Ben that a new property survey tells him that his property extends to the back door of Where There’s Soap. Now, not only does the family have no space to park their numerous cars, there’s no room for the shipping of soaps. Joy suggests that Ben confront his grandfather, Paulus about the turn of events. Paulus, after much dodging, confesses that, years ago, after a drunken blackout, he was shown a gambling IOU with his signature, covering the back lot. Before things can progress any further, Ben returns to the jeweler’s, literally seconds ahead of the police. Joy is dead, clutching an unopened bar of Where There’s Soap soap in his hand. The term “trouble-shooter” just took on a whole new dimension.

This is the second in the author’s newest series, and will be a hit with lovers of cozy mysteries. I never thought about making soap as a hobby, but the author makes it sound like a lot of fun. Each sibling has his or her own personality, and the family relationships are complicated and realistic. They’re all loyal to one another when the chips are down, though, and protective of the family business. The mystery is interesting, and Ben’s reactions to it and involvement in the investigation make perfect sense. From making soap to catching killers, Ben is a great addition to the ranks of amateur sleuths.

Rating: 7 ½
August 2006
ISBN# 0-425-21115-0 (paperback)


Post a Comment

<< Home