by Peter Likins
Read: Jan. 5-9, 2018
Source: Publicist for review
Blurb: “Jerry, you can’t do this, you can’t!” – Beaufort Prendergast, president of Chickamin Christian College, had gasped these words just before dropping dead of an apparent heart attack outside the office door of Executive Dean for Academic Affairs Jeremy Pilkington just a day before Pilkington himself was murdered in that office. The murder weapon? A poisoned apple brought to him by the pretty young college girl he had been tutoring, Mary Belle. There¹d been whispers of an affair. But wasn’t she too obvious a suspect?
So it seemed to the small town’s sheriff, Jake Muffet. Along with his son and daughter, Muffet comprised the entire law enforcement authority of the sleepy Alabama town of Sparta in the 1930s and now, for the first time in his tenure, there was a murder to solve. Or maybe two murders if President Prendergast’s death was connected to Pilkington’s.
At first the investigation looks simple: Just follow the apple. Whoever touched it before it reached Pilkington could have laced it with the strychnine. But as Sheriff Muffet and aspiring young journalist Katy O¹Halleran interview the short list of suspects, a more complicated and far darker picture emerges – a tale of sex, power and blackmail lying just underneath the veneer of Southern respectability.
Review: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are my own.
I was excited to read this one. The blurb immediately caught my eye. A fun little cozy mystery set in the south in the 1930s. I figured it would be a quick and enjoyable read.
My one and only complaint is that I’m not sure I liked how the same story was told by three differing viewpoints. I mean, it worked … but it felt a bit unnecessary. I’m okay with two viewpoints, but it was that third one that really threw me for a loop. I had a little trouble keeping everyone straight at the beginning.
Overall, a pretty good book. A quick read that held my interest well enough. The characters were all portrayed appropriately for the setting. The writing itself was good. The plot was original. This probably isn’t a book I ever would have picked up on my own, but it was still a good read. Definitely recommended!