A Thrilling, Quirky Mystery with a Strong Female Lead

5 starts out of 5

If you’re looking for a cute, sweet romantic mystery with a strong, sassy heroine this is it.

My Kindle kept showing me ads for this one, and the title was enough to draw me in. Catchy titles for the win! This was an incredibly quick, light read that kept me on the edge of my seat for more reasons than just the mystery – Kate’s love life chief among them.

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Kate is the editor of a small town Utah paper, and as the former editor of small town paper myself, I can say the author captured this so well it made me extremely nostalgic. The story made me long for both the small town I grew up in and the one I went to college in; it felt so familiar.

Our heroine Kate has just returned to her ultra conservative, gossip-fueled Mormon hometown to work for the local paper. Not one to follow the rules, she raises eyebrows and rumors as she investigates a tragic, suspicious death. She has the lovable, smart, sassy charm that makes her the perfect lead for this type of series, and her story and, I’ll admit her romantic entanglements especially, had me reaching for the next book immediately! Ms. Ford crafted a cast of distinct characters that were realistic, fun, and a little wild – reminiscent of every small town I’ve ever called home. Kate’s mother is an especially fun character to follow.

One of the most interesting things to me was learning more about the mysterious Mormon church and those who follow it’s faith. While I happen to know someone who is Mormon, they are pretty tight-lipped about their practices. This book made it seem like they were pretty similar to the Baptist, Pentecostal, and other small-town Protestant faiths that most Southerners are familiar with. In fact, if you changed just a few details, you could have easily set this in the South and made Kate a backslider from any of those churches.

I’m not sure if it’s billed as a cozy mystery, but it ure feels like one. So, if that’s your pleasure, guilty or otherwise, I think you’ll love this one. Without giving too much away, you have your standard love triangle, a heroine who is brilliant but can’t stay out of trouble, and a sleuth who is better than the cops. What more can you ask?

I’m not usually a sucker for ads, but this time I’m glad I clicked! The review of the second in the series, “The Devil Wears Tank Tops,” will follow shortly. Ford’s story, while a murder mystery, is an excellent escape from the mess that 2020 has been.

Content warning: Religious issues, sex, death, danger, gossip, coffee, misbehaving, potential child endangerment