Cameron Cripps-Hayman is taken aback when she stumbles upon another murdered neighbor, this time behind her sister’s shop, Dog Diggity. The timing couldn’t be worse, as there’s only a week left before the store’s grand opening during Canal Days, the biggest festival of the year.
When the police arrest her handyman, Cameron knows they’ve got the wrong suspect, so the Metamora Action Agency sets their sights on cracking the case. With one solved murder under their belts, how hard could a second be?
With a flood warning and a murderer on the loose threatening the start of Canal Days, can Cameron and her crew save the town’s annual dog and pony show from being canceled?
Source: Netgalley My Rating: 4/5 stars
Cameron Cripps-Hayman has enough on her plate! She’s up to her butt in the planning of the city’s biggest festival, Canal Days, her mother is coming for a visit, her sister’s new shop, Dog Diggity is on the verge of opening, she’s dating her husband, and her canine crew and front porch bees are still out of control. And now there’s another dead body . . . .
After the success of her first solved murder, Cameron is positive she can get to the bottom of this new mystery, meet all her Canal Days obligations, keep the cops (ahem, her husband!) from throwing around phrases like “obstruction of justice,” and keep her mom and sister on track. Nothing can possibly go wrong with the help of her crack team, the Metamora Action Agency, her mother, her mother-in-law, several senior citizens, and at least one nosy teenager. The only real problem is time. Cameron wants to see the dirty murdered behind bars before the start of Canal Days. Better get crackin’!
As she did the first time around, Cameron begins poking into the problem and asking a lot of people a lot of uncomfortable questions. There’s the ex-wife, there’s the betting buddies, there’s the people the dead guy pissed off, and whoever else Cameron can uncover. As one thing leads to another, Cameron figures out the dead guy was involved in some pretty shady business and that business may be landing closer to home than Cameron is comfortable with. She already has enough trouble (and one whopper of a compliment!) from her mother-in-law without having to drag her father-in-law into the mess.
As it turns out, Cameron once again gets herself into a whole host of trouble! Her friend has been arrested for a murder she knows he did NOT commit, in an effort to clear his name, she’s making enemies left and right with her investigations, the weather is threatening to end her hopes of a successful Canal Days, and her sister is falling for a man destined not to stick around. As if all this weren’t enough, Cameron’s budding relationship with her husband is threatened by her continued involvement in his case. If she doesn’t straighten up and fly right, he’s going to be collecting her from yet another dangerous and life-threatening situation.
The Bottom Line: I liked this book. I can’t say it over the top thrilled me, but Canal Days Calamity entertained me and kept me engaged enough to see it through to the end. There is a lot going in on this read between the huge cast of characters and that always makes for an excellent read for me. The cast is quirky, fun, smart, funny, and rounded out with animals which is sure winner for me every time. The plot is just right to be considered cozy, the ending is somewhat surprising, and the various love stories are both evolving and appropriate for the genre. In all, I think I will be sticking with this series for the foreseeable future. It’s worth it just to see how many more strays Cameron Cripps-Hayman is going to take in 😊