Summer is busy season for Mackenzie “Mac” Almeida’s bicycle shop, nestled in the quaint, seaside hamlet of Westham, Massachusetts. She’s expecting an influx of tourists at Mac’s Bikes; instead she discovers the body of Jake Lacey. Mac can’t imagine anyone stabbing the down-on-his-luck handyman. However, the authorities seem to think Mac is a strong suspect after she was spotted arguing with Jake just hours before his death. Mac knows she didn’t do it, but she does recognize the weapon–her brother Derrick’s fishing knife.
Mac’s only experience with murder investigations is limited to the cozy mysteries she reads with her local book group, the Cozy Capers. So to clear her name–and maybe her brother’s too–Mac will have to summon help from her Cozy Capers co-investigators and a library’s worth of detectives’ tips and tricks. For a small town, Westham is teeming with possible killers, and this is one mystery where Mac is hoping for anything but a surprise ending…
Source: Purchase Rating: 3½/5 stars
Mac Almeida has a life she truly enjoys. She owns a thriving bicycle business, she has a fabulous boyfriend, her family is close by, and her tiny home is just perfect for Mac and her pet African Grey parrot. With everything in her life going swimmingly, Mac doesn’t suspect her life is about to turn upside down.
One of Mac’s favorite hobbies is her weekly book club meeting. She and her friends read nothing, but cozy mysteries and it is on the way home from one of these weekly meetings that Mac literally stumble upon a dead body. Finding a real body is nothing like her beloved cozy mysteries and Mac is horrified to note, not only does she know the victim, but he seems to have died with a custom fish knife owned by her brother. In the blink of an eye, Mac’s perfect life has turned upside down.
Knowing her brother isn’t the slightest bit capable of such a violent act, Mac sets about trying to prove his innocence. That task would be easier by leaps and bounds if Mac knew where her brother has skittered off to. His absence is not only alarming but the impression it leaves the police is that he has something to hide. Until she can find her brother and get some straight answers out of him, Mac turns to the only group of people she trusts to help her work out the murder, her cozy mystery reading group.
Every member of the cozy mystery group lives and works in the area and if anyone is going to put this mystery to bed, it’s going to be them. With a list made and divided among the members, all set out to collect clues, talk to potential suspects, and share their notes with the rest of the group. Of course, as with most serious crimes, the actual culprit has no interest in being caught and the police have no interest in a group of amateur sleuths messing about in their investigation. Unfortunately, for both the culprit and the police, Mac and her crew have intention of giving up on clearing the name of one of their own.
The Bottom Line: I rather enjoyed this little cozy mystery. The author has done a fine job of setting the scene for this series and the scene certainly enhances the overall read. The lazy little beach town vibe is perfect for the cast of characters and the story. Mac’s bike shop is centrally located making it a great location to revolve the story around. The bike shop also gives the reader the opportunity to meet more of the community/people who play a part in the mystery. In all, I was happy with this read and eager to dive into book two following the completion of this book.