Narrator: Rebecca LaChance
Published by Avon on September 14, 2023
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 8 hrs 18 mins
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
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I loved writing murder mysteries, until I was thrust into the centre of one… It’s Christmas in Riddleton and crime novelist turned amateur sleuth, Jen , is in desperate need of a cozy festive season running the town's local bookstore. But, between trying to drum up business for Ravenous Readers and attempting to finish her latest novel, Jen is totally run off her feet. Matters get worse, however, when a man's body is found outside the bookstore, along with a scrap of paper in his pocket with none other than Jen's address on it! To solve the murder – and clear her own name – Jen must, once again, become Riddleton's best detective. The stakes have never been higher and the pressure is on – but with the help of her best friend, Brittany , and trusty dog, Savannah , can Jen catch the killer, finish her novel and save Ravenous Readers before time runs out?
A Chapter on Murder is the third book featuring author/ bookstore owner/ amateur sleuth, Jennifer Dawson. This is the first I’ve read in the series and it worked fine as a stand-alone for me. Although maybe I would have liked Jen and her friends and family a bit better if I had started at the beginning. I can’t put my finger on why, but I never quite warmed up to our main character.
Jen has a lot going on this Christmas. Her bookstore desperately needs more business if it’s going to stay open. She’s working on the third book in her series and is determined to have a rough draft ready before the release date of her second. She and her boyfriend’s relationship has been running into some rocks. To top it all off, she finds a dead man outside the door of her bookshop. When a good friend is arrested for the crime, Jen decides it’s up to her to find out who the real killer is.
The mystery was fine. There were a couple of suspects, but I did guess who the villain was. I also felt some of the scenes were a bit clunky.
Jen has a detective boyfriend, as do so many cozy sleuths, but their relationship is not smooth, even aside from her butting her nose into his investigation. Oh, and her ex-boyfriend is the police chief who is now dating her best friend/sidekick. I could have done without all the romantic drama.
I did enjoy the glimpses into Jen’s writing process and her characters, who just happen to be amateur sleuths. I just wish they hadn’t been college-age twins. Between Jen whining about turning 30 and emulating teenagers, she was maybe a bit too immature for me. And while her dog, I could have done with less detail about the medical scare.
I picked A Chapter on Murder up because it’s set at Christmas. There were some touches of Christmas, but maybe not quite enough to make me love it.