29 January 2013

Review: MURDER IN A BASKET, Amanda Flower

  • published by GALE CENGAGE LEARNING 2012
  • ISBN 978-14328-2567-4
  • 281 pages
  • Source: my local library
  • India Hayes mystery #2
Synopsis (author website)

College librarian India Hayes thought the worst thing about the Stripling Founders’ Festival was her pink gingham pioneer dress until she discovered the body of a free-spirited basket weaver on the festival grounds.
The basket weaver leaves behind an angry blacksmith husband, a confused adopted son, greedy siblings, a dysfunctional artists’ co-op, and a labradoodle with a two-million-dollar trust in his name.

Despite the wrath of her college’s provost and protests by handsome police detective Rick Mains, India finds herself playing sleuth as well as foster-owner to the two-million-dollar dog. With her own eccentric family commenting from the sidelines and her Irish-centric landlady as volunteer sidekick, India must discover the truth before she has a permanent canine houseguest or ends up the next victim in the basket weaver’s murder.

My Take

A tightly plotted comical cozy with threads and quirky characters that connect it to the author's debut mystery novel MAID OF MURDER and that ensure there is plenty of scope for #3 in the series.

Librarian India Hayes can't help herself. If there is a mystery she is drawn to investigate it, and a murder is irresistible. There are plenty of reasons, two million dollars worth in this case, why someone would have murdered basket weaver Tess Ross, but in the long run I was caught surprised. For most of the book I thought the perpetrator was pretty obvious and that India was just being thick. The police predictably arrest the wrong person. In the long run India gets it right.

A light enjoyable, sometimes fluffy, read. If you like comedy with your murder you'll like this, possibly a bit more than I did (I like mine a bit more noir).

My rating: 4.0

About the author

Author's website 
India Hayes Mystery #1 MAID OF MURDER was a 2010 Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel.
Amanda Flower is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.


Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - I know what you mean about mysteries possibly being too 'fluffy.' I have to say I'm drawn to the academic setting of this one...

Irene said...

While I agree that murder should never be funny, sometimes a reader just needs to lighten up.


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