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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

77) Basket Case by Nancy Haddock

The Blurb :

There isn’t much crime in Lilyvale, Arkansas, but local authorities have their hands full with Ms. Sherry Mae Stanton Cutler and her housemates—a crafty group of retirees who’ve dubbed themselves the Silver Six. But when Sherry Mae’s niece, Nixy, arrives to keep them in line, Lilyvale also plays host to a killer.

When Leslee Stanton “Nixy” Nix gets the latest call from Lilyvale detective Eric Shoar, she knows it means trouble. There’s been another kitchen explosion at her Aunt Sherry’s farmhouse, and the dreamy-voiced detective has had enough. If Nixy doesn’t check on her aunt in person, the Silver Six could become wards of the court. But the trouble Nixy finds in Lilyvale is not at all what she expects.

The seniors are hosting a folk art festival at the farmhouse, featuring Sherry’s hand-woven baskets, when land developer Jill Elsman arrives to bully Nixy’s aunt into selling the property. When Jill is later found dead in the cemetery, Sherry is suspected of weaving a murder plot, and it’s up to Nixy and the Silver Six to untangle the truth.

My Thoughts :

I came across author Nancy Haddock a few years ago when I read her series about vampire Cesca Marinelli.  After the series finished I was always on the look out for new work from the author.  Therefore I really enjoyed her short story in the Entangled anthology.  Medium Rare was a little different from the Oldest Vampire series but I loved the cozy mixed with the paranormal and hoped that the author would keep going in this direction.  So when I heard about Basket Case I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy.   I was excited! There was no paranormal twists involved but I love a good cozy and the blurb looked and so did the cover.

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like the story and started to worry.  I was a little conflicted about Nixy and didn't warm to her straight away.  However when she got to Lilyvale and really started to get involved with things I finally started  to like her and when I met the other characters I knew I was going to love the book.   Together with the location and the other little bits and pieces this turned out to be a very nice cozy experience.

Plot wise this may turn out to be slow going for some cozy readers.  There is enough happening at the beginning of the book to keep you interested and reading but it takes some time before an actual murder takes place.  Now not all cozies need a body to be a good mystery but it is expected!  Despite the late arrival of that angle the whole Jill Elsman business made for good reading and it was interesting to see what she was up to and why.

The main characters include the Silver Six, who are a wonderful group of retirees that give this new series its name.  It takes a little time to get used to them all and tell them apart but they are lovely characters who you know have a lot of stories to tell and will definitely manage to get into more trouble in the future.  Another main character, Detective Schoar was, like Nixy, not someone I warmed to straight away but when the plot got deadly he started to show a different side that I liked.  I am sure he also has some tales to tell!

What made this first in the series extremely likable is you could tell there is more to come.  It was obvious there are more stories to be told involving these characters.  The author builds up a lovely setting and fills it with nice people while making sure you feel at home.  There is always a lot to take in when you step into a new series but the writer guides you the whole time and leaves you looking forward to your next visit.  

A big thumbs up for this new series.  It will be interesting to see what others think of Basket Case when it releases in September.  I know I am eager to visit Lilyvale again and am really keen to see what the future brings for the Silver Six, Nixy and Det. Schoar.  

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1 comment:

Nancy K said...

Apologies for being late in sending this, and thank you for the honest review of BASKET CASE! I'm tickled you ended up liking the book, and I appreciate you sticking with the story as it unfolded.

Your reviews are always fair, and authors appreciate that. Take good care, and thanks again for taking the time to read and review the book!