Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Killer Run (A Tourist Trap Mystery Book 5)

Author:  Lynn Cahoon
Genre:  Mystery

Five Stars

Jill Gardner - owner of Coffee, Books, and More - has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast.  The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society - but not everyone is feeling so charitable.

The day of the race, everyone hits the ground running...until a local business owner stumbles over a very stationary body.  The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife team hired to promote the event - and the husband turns to Jill for help in clearing his name.  But did he do it?


Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More has a knack for getting herself in the middle of a murder.  No matter how she tries to stay out of it, her natural curiosity and need to solve puzzles brings her into it.  It doesn't help that her Aunt Jackie enjoys sleuthing as much as she does.  And this time is no different from any of the others...

Jill is a co-sponsor of the Mission Walk to raise funds for the local preservation society.  When Michael and Sandra Ashford show up at her store, she takes an instant dislike for the woman.  So later on, when Sandra is discovered dead on the trail, it is not only discovered that she was murdered, but that she was deliberately placed there so someone would find her.

Then Jill hears a rumor that Lille, her erstwhile nemesis and owner of Diamond Lille's, is wanting to expand her restaurant and plans to use the train shop next door.  But when she talks to Harrold, the owner, she finds he isn't planning on selling.  When his shop is vandalized several times, he asks Jill to help find the culprits, since the police have put his vandalism as secondary to the murder and he thinks the person will never be discovered.

And the vacation cruise she was planning on taking with her detective boyfriend Greg King is canceled because of the murder, so Jill decides to take the time off anyway and renovate the house she was left by Miss Emily.

Yes, Jill has a full plate, which isn't unusual to anyone who's been following this series.  And if you haven't I suggest you do.  From the first book, Guidebook to Murder, to the latest installment, we have gotten to know Jill and her friends and family.  They are not as eccentric as some of those in other cozy mysteries; indeed, these are real people with real problems, which makes this series one of the best out there.

While Jill and Jackie are trying surreptitiously to find out more about Sandra and who would want her dead, she discovers more mysteries:  namely, why is her travel agent Rachel spending time with the grieving widower?  Who is the mysterious man who accosted her one day at Lille's restaurant and asked her about the book she was reading, what was good on the menu and now seems to be everywhere she is?  Who are the other two people who are trying to buy the same food truck that she is interested in?

Plus, Jill is also discovering that her relationship with Greg might actually be going somewhere, but she's not at the point yet where she's willing to discuss exactly where the "where" might be.  While we feel her indecision regarding their relationship, I want to push her from behind and tell her to go for it (just my opinion).

When the ending finally comes, and we find out the truth about Sandra's death and why, it was completely believable.  The ends were woven nicely, and all the pieces fell into place, even Jill's receiving help when in a tight situation came within the range of possibility.

Ms. Gardner writes in such a pleasing manner, and creates such endearing (and some not so endearing) characters that I want to visit South Cover myself and meet these people.  Highly recommended.       

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