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Sunday, October 11, 2015

99) Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon

The Blurb :

To solve her father's murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer's carefully constructed fa├žade. . .
After Savannah's father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs--including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father's trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.

As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn't suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it's up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father's apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .

My Thoughts :

I have been trying desperately to stay away from debuts.  I have so much to read and taking on a new series is really not helping the upward struggle of my really high to be read mountain.  However there are just some books that catch your eye.  Pane and Suffering was one of those books.  Maybe I should try and stay away from Netgalley so I won't be tempted by the pretty covers that lead to interesting blurbs that lead to requesting books to review!

Anyway, Pane and Suffering looked promising and I decided to give it a chance.  There were a few aspects that made me click that 'review' button.  First were the references to Florida and Seattle.  I have read some pretty good books based in Florida and I have been to Seattle so my mind did a little dance.  Secondly the glass aspect was something new.  It is a pretty and different craft that I know very little about and reading all these cozies is a learning experience.  Thirdly the codes sounded like fun.  Not just your everyday normal mystery but something with a little more depth.

My reasons for picking up the book weren't the best reasons but they were ones that had me trying this new series.  The location didn't feel like Florida at any time in the book I often forgot about it.  Seattle was mentioned more than Florida but then again story was based in Florida.  The glass aspect was interesting but I don't think I learnt very much from this book.  The author did go into some depth about the process but I had no idea what it all really meant.  A glossary of some of the terms could be found at the end of the book but it was too little too late.  The codes were also very interesting and a very important part of the plot but it wasn't too impressive.

I liked Savannah and the other characters in the book and loved the idea of the glass shop and classes being taught.  The British style pub next door and the community feeling was nice and I hope the author expands on this in future books.  However on many aspects I think the author was trying too hard.  The Glass, the codes, teas, beers, geocaching etc there was just too much going on.  It felt a little like she was trying to show off....or at least Savannah was trying to show off.  It was all too much too soon.

The police side of the investigation was frustrating and I wonder why the author felt she had to have such a weird storyline to make things so slow.  It was annoying for Savannah and for the reader.  Also annoying was the 'will she or won't she stay' when it was pretty obvious from the first page that she was staying.  Otherwise this wouldn't have been the first in a new series about the Webb Glass Shop.  That mystery was solved easily.  The murder mystery wasn't and it kept you guessing till the codes were broken.

While I seem to be a little overly negative about Pane and Suffering, I am in fact happy I read it and will actually recommend it.  It had some faults but for a debut that is nothing unusual.  The series looks like it could be really good and I was left with the 'I want to try more' feeling. I would definitely give the next book a try and look forward to seeing what the author does with the series.  It is well worth giving this one a try and checking out what this new author has to offer.








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