Mini-Review: Can’t Judge a Book By Its Murder (Book #1: Main Street Book Club Mysteries Series) by Amy Lillard

43798533As Sugar Springs gears up for its all-class high school reunion, Mississippi bookstore owner Arlo Stanley prepares to launch her largest event: a book-signing with the town’s legendary alum and bestselling author, Wally Harrison. That’s when Wally is discovered dead outside of Arlo’s front door and her best friend is questioned for the crime. 

When the elderly ladies of Arlo’s Friday Night Book Club start to investigate, Arlo has no choice but to follow behind to keep them out of trouble. Yet with Wally’s reputation, the suspect list only grows longer—his betrayed wife, his disgruntled assistant, even the local man who holds a grudge from a long-ago accident. 

Between running interference with the book club and otherwise keeping it all together, Arlo anxiously works to get Chloe out of jail. And amidst it all, her one-time boyfriend-turned-private-eye returns to town, just another distraction while she digs to uncover the truth around Wally’s death and just what Sugar Springs secret could have led to his murder.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press          Rating: 2½/5 stars

The Bottom Line: It’s never a good sign for a book when your favorite character is the snarky, mouthy bird who lives in a cage in a bookstore ☹  I am generally a big fan of cozy mysteries, but I just couldn’t get into this world.  I found the characters, outside of the bird and Sam to be rather flat and uninteresting and the plot to be fairly predictable.  I really wish that weren’t the case, because I did like the small town setting as well as the bookstore/coffee shop set up.  I know I just can’t love every book I read, but I sure want to, especially when there is something as awesome as a snarky, mouthy bird to entertain me.  While my rating and overall impressions of this book most certainly suggest I’m done with this series, I may give the eventual second book a chance to see if my first impression can be altered.  First in a series books are hard and with any luck, the second book may come out swinging!

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