Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Series: Mackenzie Owens Mysteries #1
Published by Blueberry Books Press on October 2, 2023
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 5 hrs 59 mins
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Mackenzie—Mack—Owens was supposed to live out every millennial’s dream, but instead it turned into a nightmare. Inheriting a house and bookstore, she was going to leave the New York City rat race after getting fired from her job and start a new life on the coast of Cornwall, in England. No more fourteen-hour work days and rats the size of small toddlers. Hello turquoise waters, white sand beaches and cobblestone streets.
Unfortunately, things don’t exactly go as planned.
Not only does she have to share this new home with an eccentric grandmother she's never met, but when she opens the bookstore to find a dead body on the ground, the police immediately hone in on Mack and her grandmother as the prime suspects. This move wasn’t supposed to mean a life spent in prison making toilet wine.
Instead of spending her days eating scones with jam and cream and selling books by the sea, she’s now got to work with her grandmother to find the killer and clear her own name. Sounds simple, right? Armed with nothing more than her wits and snarky attitude, Mack is about to find out that the charming coastal town has a secret dark side. And the aggravating private investigator with the sexy smile she keeps running into has something to hide, but what?
As she gets closer to finding the killer, Mack realizes she’s next on the hit list. Will she get to the bottom of this case before she finds herself at the bottom of the sea?
Who wouldn’t love to find out they’ve inherited a house and bookshop near the sea in Cornwall? And from a relative they didn’t even know? Sign me up. It’s not going so great for Mack, though. First, someone else is living in her house – a grandmother she never knew. Then, there’s a dead body in her bookstore, and somehow the police have settled on her as a main suspect.
I liked a lot of things about Dead to Rights. Mack is a good character – funny, tenacious, a bit snarky. Her grandmother is a hoot. The two make a good team and even their bickering is funny. I like the town with the bookstore, Ugly Mug coffeeshop, and amazing hiking trails. I even like the cat.
I didn’t like how stupid the cops seem to be. Yes, the detectives in cozy mysteries tend to be a bit bumbling, but this was over the top. I didn’t like how Mack trusted a couple of women in town with the whole story of her investigation, even though she really knew nothing about them. I also didn’t love who the killer ended up being.
This was the first in the series. I liked the characters and setting enough to give the second a chance, I’m hoping the mystery itself is a little better.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: