Mini-Review: Hems and Homicide (Book #1: Apron Shop Series) by Elizabeth Penney

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Iris Buckley is sew ready for a change. After the death of her beloved grandfather, Iris decides to return to her Maine hometown to help out her widowed grandmother, Anne–and bring her online hand-made apron designs to real-time retail life. Her and Anne’s shop, Ruffles & Bows, is set to include all the latest and vintage linen fashions, a studio for sewing groups and classes, and a friendly orange cat. The only thing that they were not planning to have on the property? A skeleton in the basement. 

Anne recognizes the remains of an old friend, and when a second body shows up in the apron shop–this time their corrupt landlord, whom Anne had been feuding with for decades–she becomes a prime suspect. Now, it’s up to Iris to help clear her name. Enlisting the help of her old high-school crush Ian Stewart who, like certain fabrics, has only gotten better-looking with age and her plucky BFF Madison Morris, Iris must piece together an investigation to find out who the real killer is. . .and find a way to keep her brand-new business from being scrapped in the process.

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Source: NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press          Rating: 2½/5 stars

The Bottom Line:  Well, based on the overall rating on Goodreads, I am most decidedly in the minority on this one!  When reading a new book, I need to feel like the characters are robust and real, the setting is realistic, and the plot is plausible.  Unfortunately, I found none of that in this book.  Quite frankly, if it weren’t for the synopsis on Goodreads, I wouldn’t be able to tell you much about this book as none of it has stuck with me since I finished reading.  I can recall hoping the characters would become more real, more interesting and that the plot would become, at the very least, reasonable.  I found much of the plot to be a stretch and that left me quite unsatisfied.  Generally speaking, I can usually let something slide in a first-in-s-series book, give the author the benefit of the doubt and give the second book a shot, but I just can’t see that happening with this series.  With three major issues – characters, setting, and plot – being so tremendously lacking, I find myself calling it a day after only one book.  As I said, I am clearly in the minority on this one so, all you cozy mystery lovers out there might want to give this go and find out for yourself if I am right or if I am woefully wrong.

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