Monday, August 19, 2013

Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club - Liz Stauffer

Release Date - June 28, 2013

Liz Stauffer
Sartoris Literary Group

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Every week, women in Mount Penn gather for breakfast and their weekly club meeting. Lillie Mae Harris, leader of the club, is overly concerned for another member, Clare Ballard, who they all suspect is being abused by her husband, Roger. Meanwhile, Lillie Mae gets dragged into another situation when another club member learns her grandson has been arrested in a nearby town. The young man insists the drug charges are absurd and that he's been set up. In addition to the local drug dealer (Carl Lewis), one person he suspects is Roger Ballard.

When Lillie Mae finds Carl's body while hiking in the woods and Roger disappears, all fingers point Roger's way. Soon, Roger's body is found too and Clare confesses. Lillie Mae is convinced Clare is covering for someone and plans to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, the women of the breakfast club may be targets. Lillie Mae needs to work fast if she's going to keep her town safe.

There is a lot going on in Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club. Over the years, I've read a lot of mysteries, and crime drama is a favored TV genre too. I don't know if the story was just predictable or if I'm just too clued in to the obvious suspects, but  I had the real killer pegged long before the "twist" ending. Given that I had it figured out, a lot of the red herrings seemed pointless to me.

The women in Mount Penn are older and that might be why Lillie Mae came off as overly judgmental from time to time, especially in the beginning. I loved seeing Clare put her in her place, she needed it.

I love cozy mysteries, they've long been a favorite genre. I had high expectations for Liz Stauffer's novels, and maybe that's where I went wrong. The story is good, but figuring out the ending long before it came left me feeling let down when the killer was revealed. I could have stopped reading once I'd solved the case and not have missed much.

With that in mind, if you are an avid mystery reader and a bit of an armchair detective, I don't see this one being challenging. If you're newer to the mystery realm, it's a great choice with a fun setting.

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