Before I begin, I must admit that I started this novel with a biased perspective. This is due to the fact that I had already read the previous novel, “Guidebook to Murder” by Lynn Cahoon, and had immediately grown smitten with the story. So when I started the next installment of the Tourist Trap Mystery series with “If the Shoe Kills,” I had high expectations. I am happy to admit that some of my expectations were met while other aspects of the story exceeded my own imagination.
Holidays are right around the corner, which is usually the highlight of this small tourist town. Unfortunately, instead of days being filled with warmth, smiles, and pumpkin pie, this little community is too busy trying to find a murderer. Someone has successfully sucked the jolly out of this year’s holiday season, and even though the person who winds up dead had been a bit of a Grinch himself, people are left depressed and a bit shaken. I had already fallen in love with Jill Gardner, the owner of a little Book and Coffee shop in a residential tourist town in South Cove, in the previous novel. She is your down-to-earth nosy neighbor who can’t help but get involved with all the town’s mysteries and take charge. This story isn’t any different. We get to see Jill meddle in another town murder despite her friends’ warnings.
Now add a handsome detective, Greg King, who has also fallen in love with Jill Gardner, and even though their relationship has become more serious, he still tries to keep a strict line of separation between his personal and professional lives. It isn’t Jill’s fault that her curiosity can sometimes blur those lines for him, but it is fun to read. I loved seeing the love grow between these two, and unlike other romances, this couple actually takes things slow. I like to think that Greg and Jill can represent a couple that could be found in reality. This realistic love story is one of the reasons I am attached to the series. The story isn’t about them as a romantic couple, but you can’t help but love the little moments the couple shares in between finding killers and outrunning them.
This mystery novel was light, fun, and kept me thoroughly engaged. I only wish it was longer, because even though the author did a good job in keeping the killer a mystery, when the truth was revealed I was left with some questions. Overall, a good book with a cliffhanger ending that is going to keep me on my toes.
Publication: November 10, 2014