Monday, July 7, 2014

Ill-Gotten Panes

Author:  Jennifer McAndrews
Genre:  Mystery

Five Stars

After a banking scandal loses Georgia her job and fiancĂ©, she decides that a change of scenery will help piece her life back together.  But escaping to her grandfather's house in the old-fashioned, brick-making Hudson River hamlet of Wenwood, New York, turns out to be less relaxing than she expects.  Not only is the close-knit community on edge about their beloved brickworks being turned into a marina to draw in tourists, one of those most opposed to the project winds up dead-cracked over the head with a famous Wenwood brick.

Georgia wouldn't be broken up over the news except for the fact that the main suspect is the deceased's biggest adversary-her grandfather.  Now, to remove the stain from her grandy's record, Georgia will have to figure out who in town was willing to kill to keep the renovation project alive, before someone else is permanently cut out of the picture...

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Georgia Kelly has recently moved to Wenwood, New York to put her life back together.  After being involved in a banking scandal (and no, she didn't do anything wrong), her fiance couldn't handle it and asked her to move out; so she decided to move back to her grandfather's house and lick her wounds.

While trying to keep a low profile and just take care of her grandfather (who really doesn't need it), she is approached by a woman who owns an antiques shop and has heard about her skills in stained glass.  Carrie, the owner, asks her to repair a lamp for her, and becomes a fast friend.  Her grandfather, Pete, owns a movie theater and restaurant, and even at eighty is still going strong.

While deciding to shop for a caulking gun to repair her grandfather's bathtub, she makes the mistake of going to the local hardware store for supplies, and overhears a heated conversation between the owner and another man.  When the owner, Andy Edgers, sees her and knows who she is, he practically orders her to leave the store immediately.  Stunned, she returns home and tells her grandfather about it, who is incensed and confronts Andy.

Later, when Andy is killed, her grandfather becomes the prime suspect.  And even though no one believes it, the police insist they have evidence, which only makes Georgia more determined than ever to find the real killer and get her grandfather off the hook.
I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the fact that for one, it wasn't the tale of someone's grandmother in trouble -  very rarely will you find that it is the grandfather, and an active one, at that - and I can tell you that it pleased me no end.  It let me know first off that this was not going to be your run of the mill mystery.

Georgia is out of her element in this small town, and is finding her way around.  She's not making a lot of friends, but she's not making enemies, either.  There are enough elements thrown in that you can imagine her spending summers with her grandfather here, but there are hints (which will probably be revealed later down the road) that all those summers weren't happy ones, for whatever reason.

The clues leading to the actual killer (since we know it couldn't possibly be Pete) are there, but you have to look for them.  It's not an easy road to travel, but a fun one just the same.  I think Ms. McAndrews has the beginning of a great series here, and I fully intend to read them as they are issued.  Highly recommended.

http://www.amazon.com/Ill-Gotten-Stained-Glass-Mystery-Jennifer-McAndrews/dp/0425267954/

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