Review: A Shot of Murder (Book #1: A Lucky Whiskey Mystery Series) by J.A. Kazimer

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Ten years after leaving the small town of Gett, Florida, for Hollywood stardom, Charlotte “Charms” Lucky–who has never quite lived up to her surname–returns home to run the Lucky Whiskey distillery while her grandfather recovers from a heart attack.

Making whiskey is harder than Charlotte imagined, especially with longtime rivals and resentful townsfolk interfering at every turn. She’ll need more than a lucky charm to keep the family afloat, especially when she discovers her high school boyfriend’s pickled corpse in a Lucky Whiskey cask and her grandfather is arrested for the murder. Charlotte has one shot to clear his name and save the family business, and that is to find the real killer among a town full of suspects.

Source: NetGalley and Midnight Ink Rating: 3½/5 stars

There is only one thing in the world Charlotte Lucky would lay down her life for and that thing is actually a who.  Charlotte’s grandfather, founder and head of Lucky Whiskey is in a bad way and if Charlotte doesn’t make some solid decisions soon, her grandfather is going to be worse off than he already is. 

In the face of heart attack recovery, Charlotte has packed up her Hollywood life and headed home to the small town of Gett, Florida.  With a population of roughly everyone knows everyone, Charlotte isn’t thrilled to be home, but she is thrilled to see her beloved grandfather.  With strict orders from the doctor and his home nurse to layoff the bad food, cigars, and whiskey, Charlotte has no choice but to take over the running of the distillery.  Though she was raised onsite, Charlotte isn’t a whiskey maker by nature so learning the ropes from the ground up is going to be a wild ride. 

As Charlotte begins to take over the family business, she immediately notices a huge problem, the company is on the verge of financial ruin.  Not wanting to upset her grandfather, Charlotte keeps the information to her herself and presses forward right on into the next huge problem, a dead man in one of her precious casks of whiskey.  To say this is a disaster as well as a tragedy doesn’t even come close and Charlotte can’t keep this from her grandfather since he’s the prime suspect!

Charlotte wasn’t thrilled about having to come home and she’s even less thrilled that the idiot child town sheriff has arrested her grandfather.  The idiot child doesn’t seem to want to see reason and listen to common sense, so Charlotte embarks on her own investigation into the heinous crime.  As Charlotte quickly discovers, not everyone in town is thrilled with her return while others seem a bit too enthused.  Sifting through friends and foes while trying to solve a murder isn’t going to be easy, but Charlotte would rather die than see her grandfather waste away in prison. 

The Bottom Line:  Oh, how I love a good small-town mystery!  When you add in the history and drama of everyone knowing everyone else, suddenly you have a much richer and more complex cast of characters and that I will always love and appreciate.  The only real issue I have with this book is Charlotte’s constant bad attitude toward Brodie Gett; while I appreciate, they have a somewhat contentious history, the middle of a murder investigation isn’t the time to be dredging up petty dramas from the past.  With that said, Charlotte’s attitude wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying this book.  In fact, I was able to get through this rather quickly thanks to its pure entertainment value.

Goodreads | Amazon | Paperback

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