Saturday, July 4, 2015

Destined for trouble (A Jules Cannon Mystery)

Author:  Claudia Lefeve
Genre:  Mystery

ISBN #: 9781477829837
Thomas & Mercer
232 Pages
$11.99 Amazon
June 23, 2015

Three Stars

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, FBI crime analyst Jules Cannon flees to her hometown of Trouble Island, Texas, to nurse her wounds.  All she wants to do is unwind, forget about her failed relationship, and work on her tan.

But when the owner of the local crab shack is murdered at Jules’s welcome-home party, she is forced to scrap her rest-and-relaxation plans. Now her best friend, Abby Lee, is the prime suspect, and her high school sweetheart, Deputy Chief Justin Harper, is working the case. Even though Jules knows she shouldn’t, she just can’t keep herself from getting involved in the investigation—and entangled with handsome Assistant District Attorney Hartley Crawford. While an old flame threatens to rekindle and a new one sparks, Jules must find a killer and prove her friend’s innocence. But will she put two and two together before trouble catches up with her.


Jules Cannon is an FBI crime analyst whose boyfriend has just broken up with her, and since she still has to work with him, she's decided to cash in her vacation and take a two-month leave of absence to visit her family in Trouble Island, Texas.  

While things should go swimmingly for her, unfortunately, they don't.  At the coming home party her mother has planned, there happens to be a guest that didn't leave - Harvey, the owner of the local crab shack.  And when the will is read, her best friend Abby Lee receives Harvey's restaurant instead of his wife, which also makes her the main suspect in his murder.  So Jules decides that the only thing she can do is solve the crime herself, since she thinks the local police aren't looking any further for another suspect.

But what is complicating things is that her high school boyfriend, Justin Harper, is the Deputy Chief, and isn't sharing information with her; and Harvey's widow Sheila is acting suspicious; and Jules' Aunt Lula has railroaded her into working at Lula's boutique - even though Jules hates having to deal with people.

Then someone is obviously stalking her, sending her messages that are graphic and brutal, and eventually it escalates and Jules is forced into calling the police and telling them what happened, leading her to look harder into what has been there all along.

For the most part, I really enjoyed the book, because the writing was done well and the plot was interesting.  But a couple of things just didn't ring true:  (And here I am going to give a couple of slight spoilers, because you have a right to know why I rated it less than five stars).  For an FBI analyst, she wasn't very smart.  She couldn't figure out where the black roses came from.  One, it's a small island.  There can't be more than one florist if any.  Two, florists don't carry black roses (at least none I've known), three, the box would state the name of the florist - it's not like you can buy rose boxes in the local department stores.  Why didn't she do research and find out who bought a rose box from any nearby florists?  If she had done that, the next paragraph wouldn't even be included.

But the thing that really got me the most was the animal cruelty.  I felt that it wasn't necessary at all to the book, and totally turned me off.  To tell the truth, if I had known the author thought violence to animals was alright, I would never have read this book.  I can't stress this strongly enough.  This is a light mystery, not a thriller, and it shows an insensitivity to pet owners and animals themselves.  There were other options to prove the stalker was crazy without resorting to this.

In the end, the murder was solved, of course, and everything was explained satisfactorily, which made for a mystery that's a quick read.  

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