Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bearly Departed (A Teddy Bear Mystery)

Author:  Meg Macy
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #"  9781496709639
Kensington Publishing
288 Pages
May 30, 2017

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As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life.  Well, except for the part about being a single divorceé with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow.  And that's just kid's stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who's set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch - with or without Sasha's approval...

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan...and leaves his dead body inside the factory.  Reeling from shock, Sasha's hit with more bad news - police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him.  Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she's launching her own little investigation to expose the truth.  As she tracks Will's rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can't get too comfy - or she'll become the next plaything for a killer...

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Sasha Silverman and her family own a teddy bear shop in Silver Hollow, Michigan.  She and her sister Maddie run the shop, along with her Uncle Ross who heads production; and they also have several employees.  One of these employees is their sales rep Will Taylor, who's a thorn in everyone's side and has just returned from a business trip.

It seems on this particular trip he met their father, and now tells everyone that they're possibly moving production to China which will lower costs - and means that employees will lose their positions.  Sasha is determined that this will never happen, but before she can speak with her father, Will is murdered - found dead in their shop with his mouth full of stuffing.

While at first it seems her uncle is the most likely to have killed Will, when details of his life are made public the suspect list starts growing, and soon there's enough of them to put her uncle all but in the clear.  It also doesn't help when Sasha's cheating ex-husband turns up unexpectedly, and she finds out he's moving back home.  Trouble looms for both the shop and Sasha, and now she has to decide how to tackle both situations without losing either her living or her sanity...

I really wanted to like this book more than I did.  It had a cute premise (a teddy bear shop) and a mystery to boot.  But it just had Too Much Detail.  Too much detail on homes and businesses, and too many characters.  The amount became staggering, and unfortunately, because of that none of the characters had any depth.  I didn't really care for Sasha or her family.  Her mother even came off as rather unlikable, so it wouldn't pain me not to see her in future books.

While I understand this is a first book, and we know they need to be tweaked, I felt without this much detail the book would have been more interesting, and we would have really been able to 'sink our teeth' into the murder.  But without character development, it's hard to know or care about them.

When the murderer was discovered, while it was no big surprise the ending was satisfactory.  Also, the writing is good, and the idea of a teddy bear shop has promise, so I hope to see that the author continues with this series.

https://www.amazon.com/Bearly-Departed-Teddy-Bear-Mystery/dp/1496709632/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2087634693

More on Meg Macy:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/m/meg-macy/

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