Just finished this for the Cozy Mystery Corner book group on Goodreads. I really have mixed feelings about this. This book was on the short list for the Agatha Awards from Malice Domestic but it didn’t completely work for me. It was as though the author had a checklist: book theme, check, cats, check, small southern town, check, sheriff love interest, check, but she wasn’t really invested in these items.
I didn’t solve the mystery prior to the reveal but looking back I suppose I could have guessed at it. The main character Lizzie was likable enough, but a little two dimensional. I really didn’t need the description of all her outfits and yes, we understood that she was into fitness. We didn’t really need to keep hearing how she needed to go run or run more or missed a day running and drinking her protein shakes.
My biggest issue with the book was the pacing. Every time it seemed like something was going to happen, it didn’t. The action stopped and she went to work or off on some mundane errand. Slow pacing. Even the little mystery book club started to get interested in solving the mystery and then they seemed to lose interest. I also found the name dropping of other cozy mystery authors distracting, for some reason it seemed to pull me out of the story.
Often I find series improve after the initial book, but I don’t know if I will read another in this series. On the other hand, the fact that it was up for an Agatha makes me think I should give it another chance.