Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Deal To Die For - Josie Belle

A Deal To Die For
A Good Buy Girls Mystery
Josie Belle
Berkley Prime Crime
Since the end of the first book of this series, 50% OFF MURDER, main character Maggie Gerber has been very busy.  As this story opens, she’s still a little frightened to find herself in possession of a store (and the attendant mortgage) where she intends to sell vintage clothing.  It’s a huge step, but with the help of her friends, a group of deal-seekers who call themselves the Good Buy Girls, she’s ready.  At the top of the list of tasks is a visit to the local flea market, to check out the stall of Vera Madison, a woman known for selling vintage couture. 
Arriving at the stall, Maggie discovers that Vera left suddenly to visit Dr. Franklin.  It seems odd to Maggie, since he’s not Vera’s doctor.  It wouldn’t be a huge problem, except that longtime rival and all-around Mean Girl Summer Philips is there, trying to take advantage of Vera’s absence and snag all the swag for her own shop.  Needing an official ruling on who gets what, Maggie heads over to the doctor’s office.  When she enters the waiting room, she’s horrified to discover Vera’s lifeless body on the floor.  Bending over her, holding a syringe, is Dr. Franklin.  This looks bad, and while Maggie is positive Doc couldn’t have harmed anyone, it’s clear that he’s hiding something.
This is a very solid entry in an entertaining series.  The plot revolves around secrets kept and revealed in a small town, and some pretty big skeletons emerge from a few closets.  This time around, Maggie seems a little too immature for her age, becoming completely irrational with anger any time the authorities dare to question Dr. Franklin.  There’s also a love/hate relationship between Maggie and the local sheriff that dates back to elementary school, which becomes repetitive and only drags down the pace of the story.  It looks like that will be resolved in the next book, though.  The supporting cast is full of original and realistic characters and the writing has a breezy quality that makes the pages seem to turn themselves. 
Rating: 7
January 2013  
ISBN# 978-0-425-25185-0 (paperback)


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