A Lucy Stone Mystery
By Leslie Meier
Available now from Kensington
My mom instilled me with a love of cozy mysteries. I venture into more hardcore thrillers at times, but often find the violence and other crimes too grotesque and gratuitous. I mean, if you read my reviews, you know that I love me a violent book. But there's something particularly ugly about the ways bodies are described in certain mysteries. However, you can trust a cozy mystery to be light on the gore and heavy on the gossip.
Lucy Stone is a reporter for the Pennysaver. She's not on duty when she goes to Vivian Van Vorst's annual Easter Egg Hunt, but she certainly switches over to investigative mode due to the events of that day. Nothing was as usual - the grounds not prepared, the gate not open, no parking attendants - and, oh yeah, a man dressed as the Easter Bunny dropped dead in front of a number of traumatized children.
VV is in her nineties and the richest woman in town. She's controlled the purse strings of her descendants for decades. Now her health and control are failing. Something is wrong in her mansion, but few can bring themselves to be bothered about an extremely rich woman reaping what she sowed. Lucy feels that a crime is a crime and keeps poking around to find out what is going on behind those gates.
I felt disconnected from the series elements. There are more than twenty Lucy Stone Mysteries, but this is the first one I've read. When the mystery part briefly stops dead for Lucy to tend to her ailing daughter, I didn't really care since her daughter wasn't relevant to the plot. Tinker's Cove, Maine is your typical cozy mystery small town so I could relate to characters by their archetypes, but I wasn't clued into the relationships I assume Meier has been building and there wasn't enough in EASTER BUNNY MURDER to make me care.
The mystery did hold my attention. It's not too complicated, so Meier wisely stacks a couple of crimes on top of each other. The momentum really gets going just when you think everything has been solved. I felt the court scenes went on for a little bit too long, but that's my main quibble with the actual mystery.
As far as cozy mysteries go, I prefer Joanna Fluke's more humorous style. I'm sure Meier's homey Lucy Stone has a wide appeal among cozy mystery readers though.
I have one hardcover to giveaway courtesy of BookTrib. I'm not going to bother with a Rafflecopter since I already have THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH giveaway going on. Just comment on this post with an email address within the next twenty-four hours. US address only; must be over 13 to win. You can also enter to win a basket from BookTrib and Kensington.